City-Wide Open Studios 2016: Dwelling presents ten artist commissions and a partnership with Columbus House that explore the state of dwelling in the 21st century. Influenced by Martin Heidegger’s controversial essay Building, Dwelling, Living, which radically rethought the comforts and stereotypes living mid-century, these projects complicate the terms architecture, urbanism, community, home, studio, work space, thinking space, and sustainability. Highlights include:
Hong Hong’s I Cannot Remember the Tender-Headed Rain/Perhaps We Do Not Yet Exist is a meditation on site and impermanence. Composed of four 25-foot curtains of weightless Mylar tubing, suspended from the steel trusses of the Goffe Street Armory, the installation transforms ethereal elements (light, time and sound) into a fields of space. As visitors commune around the work in groups and as individuals, the curtains become something larger than any one person or experience.
Gender, Projected by Am Nogren and Reese Ramponi is a site specific work installed in the Locker Room of New Haven’s Goffe Street Armory. Meditating on the body as a site of dwelling, the artists invited members of Connecticut’s LGBTQI+ community to explore their own genders through the project, working to affirm self love and body positivity, and to dismantle socially constructed gender binaries. Participants contributed handwritten notes, articles of clothing, and photographs taken in a private session with the artists.
Cereal Cave by John O'Donnell scrutinizes American domesticity, specifically the popular foods that parents purchase and serve their kids for breakfast. This terrifying secret bursts from the shelves of the Goffe Street Armory's former kitchen, where blue-green synthetic limbs shoot out of the shelves. The work suggests we are eating something radioactive, not edible. Designed and performed as an adult, O'Donnell evokes that the awkward feeling of coming of age, a process which he seems to suggest, continues through adulthood.
Harper Keehn designed and built Teardrop Trailer from scratch in preparation for an eco-friendly solo trip across the United States. Starting in New Paltz, NY, he traveled 7,000 miles in total over 3 months, living out of the back to fix whatever was most pressing-- building screens to protect against mosquitoes, new windows to ward against wind, and patches to stop leaks. He imagines the trailer as an ongoing lesson problem solving writing, “I never tried to hide that this project is all revision. It's not finished. Each surface and feature has been changed many times. I want to show my hand in all of it because it's hard to know where built objects come from. I think this dissociation often makes it hard to make good decisions. So this trailer and everything in it tries to let people see, and me remember, how it was made."
Image Credits: Photos by Graham Hebel, Courtesy of Artspace New Haven.