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.
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!
Piece by Ian Ward
Today is the LAST DAY to see the House Project before the power gets cut. Come check it out tonight between 7 and 9 pm.
This news just in: the electricity at the House Project will be cut OFF on Monday, September 12th, in preparation for demolition.
If you’ve been meaning to come see the House, you’re welcome to swing past tonight (Friday, Sept. 9th) between 7 pm and 9 pm, or get in contact with me before the weekend’s out. The count down begins!
Piece by Lauren Simms
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
Photo by Randy Gibson
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.
Wayne Garrett and I had the fantastic fortune of scoring this amazing slide from CDC Recreation (the same folks who remove old playground equipment for the City, refurbish anything salvageable, and send the used playground equipment to 3rd World Countries). This is the story of us making up our minds where to install it, and then doing just that.
Special thanks to Wayne from the City of Calgary, and Mike from CDC Recreation.
The House Project was an Honourable Mention for this month’s round of $1000 Scholarships issued by Calgary’s own Awesome Foundation. Check out the Top4 Finalists at their showdown this Thursday!
The ball is rolling, and the artists of The House Project are beginning to swing into action for REAL. Andrew Frosst leaves for Montreal on Saturday, so John Frosst and he are getting down to it, beginning to form geometric shapes out of “reclaimed” plywood around the interior windows of the house.
Lane Shordee’s kitchen whirlpool is turning quite rapidly into a tropical oasis. He brought his pal Sean MacAlister to help out on Sunday, and the whirlpool piece looks to be in great shape, with a board walk wrapping around it and a large glass basin. Lane used the clear glass top from a deck table for the basin of his whirlpool (which somehow fits perfectly).
Lauren Simms is also getting down to work. Last we talked, there was a rumour of black lights and white string drawings. Her white string is getting to take over the room, and the barred chain gate of the gun closet plays into the lined aesthetic very well.
For our part, I took today and tomorrow off work, and Wayne Garrett and I started cutting the hole needed for our main-floor to basement slide. The plan is to cover the hole with a door, so it looks like a strange topsy-turvy hallway to the basement.
Danny Kirk and Ian Ward are still out of town, but it looks like they’re going to be working like crazy when they get back here. Between handmade balloons and hidden paintings, it looks like The House Project will round itself out pretty well. Now we’re all in the crunch, so only time can tell.