Answering and Asking

As the other collaborator in this project I check this blog religiously, more often than I pet my cats these days. I've reread each entry that I've made (quickly noting my errors), and the ones Laura has posted and I thought it was time for me to respond to the question Laura posed one day, "Why we are doing this project?"

Though the project description is right there for anyone to read, it doesn't really explain our motivations. Originally I wanted to make work in an empty domestic space. I have drawings of ideas for pieces and works that look just so. A drawing for a bed: you never have to make it! I had been making work in my living space for 3 and a half years and the idea of an empty domestic space seemed like a dream. Albeit a rather average dream, it's not like I dreamed of working in a 5000 sq. ft. loft in midtown Manhattan.

The project of making art among your life's belongings has been written about a lot: see any writing about Kiki Smith and you'll read something more prophetic than I can attempt. What I can say is that to make work in an un-blank place is tricky and convoluted, but no more so than it is to just make art in your studio. Neither is more right, or more wrong, but as an antidote to the constant studio time commensurate with an MFA we wanted to alter our path. We wanted to make work for 2 hours then fold someone's laundry. We wanted to watch our friends neighbor's smoke illegally on her fire escape while we were trying to decipher critical theory.

We have both been long fascinated with the major themes of domesticity, feminism, and modernism and many other ism's(!). Our approach to work is decidedly opposite: I am sloppy and fast and regularly don't remember the title that I passionately gave a piece even two days ago. Laura is skilled and patient and gifted and, yes, slow but tends to actually know how to use tools. We thought these opposites should lean on each other for a while.

I hope all manner of mess and work and writing can come from this ap-ART-ment. I hope many friends and colleagues and lucky strangers happen upon us in these next two weeks as we make our first go round. Our plan is to look back in order to actually answer the question of why we are doing this and many other questions: Why not make this domestic art in our own apartments? Why should we choose someone's apartment we know, but not someone we know well? Why does Nicole Lattuca trust us with all of her worldly belongings, keepsakes? What is there to investigate in her home? How can this process teach us to look critically at things so personal?

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