It feels like forever since The House Project, but the idea is finally being re-kindled! WRECK CITY: An Epilogue for 809 is essentially a leap from The House Project to The Neighbourhood Project!
WRECK CITY: An Epilogue for 809 is a community-based art experiment transforming 11 houses scheduled for demolition into temporary art, installation, and performance spaces. Eight Artist-Curators will invite 30+ Artists to participate. Artists will be free to radically alter the architecture of entire houses, re-shaping the homes using materials from the houses themselves, without need for repair at the end of the project.
Instigated as an epilogue for 809 Gallery, one of Calgary’s influential pop-up garage galleries (also scheduled for demolition), the project explores Calgary’s demolition addiction, re-imagining the potential of a doomed neighbourhood to become a playful and critically engaging WRECK CITY prior to redevelopment.
WRECK CITY will be open to the public from APRIL 19 – 27, 2013. More information about the location of events will be posted in the upcoming weeks.
Enticed? We’re currently accepting digital submissions! If you’re interested in participating in WRECK CITY, please see our Call for Submissions, Deadline March 9th, 2013.
The House Project feels so long ago already, but the house was only demolished this week. Now the only thing left of 229 10A street is an empty pit. Having known its fate since before setting foot in the house, and having embraced that impermanence as part of the concept and part its appeal, it struck me as odd how emotionally I reacted to that hole in the earth. Standing close to the fence, I looked down into the space and felt a deep nostalgia for something that was never really ours to begin with… but a space that had still, somehow, felt like home, even if only for a short while.
Then the moment was gone. Wayne Garrett drove up in his squeaky car, and we left the space to be filled with a new house, and a new future.
Ashley Bristowe and Chris Turner commissioned the House Project as a wedding gift for their new neighbors and longtime friends, Sara Simpson and John Johnston. What started as a present became an experiment in re-imagined spaces, and then a vaguer, more poetic statement about the potential in forgotten places and empowering temporary homes for the arts, now.
Who’s to say? For the artists, the freedom behind the House Project lies in the fact that it’s temporary, transient and scheduled for demolition, (hey, we got to tear holes in the walls!) But the essential ideas behind the show may be more lasting…
Well SURPRISE! This Friday, September 16th from 6 – 8 pm, the House Project will host The House Project Performances, a set of 5 guerrilla theatre pieces, as the very last EVER event at the House Project before it is demolished. Set into the ambiance of flashlights, candles and pre-wrecking ball blues, the House Project Performances are curated by Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre Company and feature Kyle Hinton, Mark Hopkins, Mark Ikeda, Richard Lee, Ian McFarlane, Charles Netto, Geneviève Paré, Jennifer Roberts and Danielle Wensley.
With just under a week to communicate with the artists, hatch a vision, rehearse and polish a piece, the House Project Performances are a no-pressure experiment in sharing creative projects and re-re-imagining spaces – a real lesson in re-using and recycling! We’re all curiously waiting to see what happens…
Show up on Friday anytime between 6 and 8 pm to see what these folks have created!
Back in time for a moment: the day before the House Project Opened, I slept in a closet. That being said, that closet was lined with mattresses and surrounded by inflatable plastic fish. This is probably the most romantic way a person can become one with their art… which explains why Lane and Danny spent so much time sleeping in their pieces.
These are photos from the day before our show opened. Photos of the finished pieces will be posted in short order… you really had to be there.
The House Project is Open by Appointment for the next week or two
Initially we thought the house was scheduled for demolition tomorrow, but last Thursday we were told that we have a couple weeks before the house is knocked down. SO: If you missed the House Project during its open hours, but you’re dying to see it in swing before the wrecking ball (a little worse for wear, but still pretty cool) you can book an appointment and I’ll do my best to set-up a time to view the space. Drop me a line in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-616-3147
Holy heck, the last three days have been a whirlwind. The House Project, after being featured in the Calgary Herald on Thursday, and Swerve Magazine on Friday, managed to scoop an audience of 400+ people at the Opening, and about 600 over Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 1000 viewers! (including my 86 year old Grama…)
And while that number is pretty baffling to me, as the curator and an artist in this entirely independent, community-run show with a budget of $400 plus a $190 Totem Gift Certificate, I reserve the majority of my admiration for Lane, Danny, Ian, Lauren, John and Wayne. For me, at least, this project has been an awesome, challenging and educational experiment in re-imagining potentials and trusting in my peers. Ashley and Chris, the next-door-neighbours and commissioners of this piece said nothing but YES throughout this entire process. For the House Project, encouragement and unconditional faith have been fantastic catalysts towards free imagination. I’m sure this won’t the last project of its kind in Calgary, but it might be the first one, with the least pressure, and the greatest pay-off.
In the next day or two, I’ll be posting images from the Opening of the House Project, but in the mean time, take a look at Drew Anderson’s take on the House Project for Swerve Magazine here.