Half a House is a 5 day project initiated by the artists Sonia Gómez (ES), Leonardo Delogu (IT), Brogan Davison (UK), Gosie Vervloessem (BE) and Pétur Ármannsson (IS) as part of the European project N.O.W. New Open Working process for the performing arts, Half a House took place in Florence from 10th to 14th of May, 2017 within Fabbrica Europa Festival.
Half a House is inspired by the work of the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, who after the earthquake and tsunami in 2010 in Chile, built half houses that could be finished by its’ inhabitants according to their own needs and in their own taste. Half a House explores this notion of co-creation of a space, not completely shaped and closed, and aims to subvert the negative value often associated with the notion of unfinished in a neo-liberal view and paradigm. As the disasters in Chile led to a new and adaptive domestic model, Half a House is an artistic reaction to the transitions happening in the art sector today – replacing existing hierarchies with an experimental space creating alternative conditions for purposeful relationships. Half a House is an invitation to investigate what artistic practice would look like if, in times of pressure, we don’t put all our energy in finishing the walls: what if we leave the house ‘half’ and take time to reflect and restructure, explore new ways of operating, faced with the wind blowing through the unfinished walls?
Instead of resurrecting the walls, Half a House proposes to renovate by ‘sharing’ practices and ideas, merging workspace and daily life between different players within and outside of the arts field – curators, artists, programmers, theoreticians, scientists, activists, social workers – researching questions related to artistic practice and beyond: How can one be productive and fragile at the same time? Can openness be a force and a possibility for navigating in a moment of drastic changes? Can collaboration/co-creation and sharing be a new method and model for our working relationships? Half a House is an artistic investigation collectively carried out through a co-living format, merging daily tasks and abstract topics, workshops, experiences, guests and performances. Themes of private and public, fragility and the unknown will be further explored through the process of the co-creation of a living and working space, a co-habitation of different partners in an artistic process who explore sharing as a condition and a practice to keep the work unfinished and the winds blowing. The participants will co-habitate with the NOW artists and partners and the physicality of the space itself will be a process of sharing. Sonia Gómez, Leonardo Delogu, Brogan Davison, Gosie Vervloessem and Pétur Ármannsson, the partners of the N.O.W. network and ten artists selected through a call (Fabio Ciararvella, Claudio Beorchia, Margherita Isola, Greta Francolini, Anna Marocco, Justin Randolph Thompson, Laura Perrone, Giulla Dellavalle, Elisa Decet, Chiara Orefice) will build and craft their own private space as well as the communal areas, with the help of Naomi Kerkhove & Maël Veisse.
Mobile and flexible modules will be used and organized by the artists, partners and participants accordingly to the activities and the questions that arise in the process. This will create an ephemeral and dynamic house ready to change and react to needs and functions. Trough working in a horizontal structure and playing with the concept of hierarchy, the project aims to create a community that supports the sharing of knowledge, interdisciplinary practice, openness and risk.