@ DePimlico Project, London.
SOFIA VILLENA ARAYA
An evening of performances
“a place that fosters us.” started in December of 2018 as a nomadic curatorial project that temporarily dwells in unused living spaces. For this second iteration, Bryony Gillard, Hattie Godfrey and Tyler Eash will be presenting their distinct artistic responses to the specifics of the Georgian house that fosters us throughout an evening of performances.
Awaiting for the door to open, we were going to finally pierce through the elegant, until now hermetic, shell of the house. A house like those that we sometimes pass by. Those that we only manage to lay our eyes on when, by coincidence, the lights inside have already been switched on, their owners back from work. There is just a short time before they close the blinds. Anticipating this signal to walk away, we fastly try to get a few glimpses of the inside.
Inside the Georgian house, our eyes wandered with awe, slowly taking in the small details, no longer rushed by the possibility of been caught impermissibly watching. We suspected that the stories behind the Georgian crust would be far from common. Walking around, it was as if the house was laughing at its own too-serious restricted facade. Full of cheap and over-the-top-looking objects, enumerated doors and rooms with a no longer apparent function but all similarly coated with cat hair, the inside was more of a perversion of the aristocratic pretentious outside.
We heard that the house served, at some point, as a brothel and at another point, as a student dormitory. The stories cannot be confirmed. It doesn't really matter. The house sets all kinds of imaginations going today, the many possibilities of what a home can be. The performing artists take on these possibilities, immoderately using drama and the openness of fiction to share with us relatable narratives of gender, class and the domestic; narratives blended with the artists’ own histories.
In addition to the performances, a zine will be distributed during the event, bringing together textual work from the three performers in addition to works by Sandy Di Yu and Flora Brandl.
@ An apartment in Shoreditch, London.
SOFIA VILLENA ARAYA
JULIA AURORA GUZMAN
It was a fifty minute bus ride on the 21, and we stopped on Mintern Street. We walked among brick, a lot of brick, on somewhat calm streets, until we found the vivid blue, turquoise, door with the big knob in the middle.
Yet, some of us came by overground. They found themselves at Shoreditch High Street, turned around by their phones. The expensive working clothes and the fancy smelling street food caught their attention for a second, they continued walking.
Standing outside the house, we seemed to be at the limit between the remnants of the social housing project and the voracious redevelopment of the city.
We walked inside, and found an uninhabited apartment with a few traces of past lives. A feeling of estrangement came with the peculiar combination of elements left in here.
A low couch. A pile of empty beer cans. A flat screen. Empty walls. Dried towels in the bathroom. One lonely plant next to a big window that faces the brick construction. Just across, the other big window faces the high rises. Full trash cans. An agglomeration of desks and closets in the main bedroom and another one of food processors in the kitchen.
We didn’t know what this past life was, but we started to wonder.
Perhaps, there was a party before the tenants left. The plant seemed dry, maybe people had been absent in the house for longer than we thought. For how much longer could that plant live without water? The empty walls gave no clue of the emotional attachment to the place, we tried to look for holes in them. They must have had too many towels. We thought how moving in general implies leaving things behind, maybe in this case, the towels and a random selection of electro-domestics and furniture.
For the period of five days, we are attempting to ask: How can we inhabit this temporarily uninhabited domestic space differently? What kind of histories, memories, and affective processes traverse our bodies at the time of inhabiting this (new for us) space? How fragile but at the same time stubborn are the walls that appear to draw an inside and an outside? And, where do the limits between the domestic objects and the artworks stand? What movements or flows can reverse these walls and limits?
From Wednesday 28th of November to Sunday 2nd of December (2018), we are gathering together and inhabiting this space. In this exhibition and events program, we - Gabriella Hirst, Kimberley Beach, Manu Prasad, Julia Guzmán, Clive Vella, Debbie Kent, Emily Pope, Vasiliki Antonopoulou, Rachel Wilson, Alex Culshaw, Marta Melià and Sofia Villena-Araya - seek to negotiate our different urban and domestic experiences with the specifics of a place that fosters us.