Domestic borders are not just materialised in bricks and mortar, but are also confirmed and expressed in the residents behaviour towards visitors. Arnold Van Gennep
My Home is Your Home published by public works and BalinHouseProjects (BHP) describes and interrogates the idea of home as an art practice, a civic space and a place to host strangers. At the launch authors David Roberts and Torange Khonsari and artists Eduardo Padilha and Sonia Uddin will discuss both the public role of the home through the intimate act of hosting and the home as a place of civic and cultural production and dissemination.
They will question the meaning of the home as a public sphere and an informal cultural platform away from institutional constraints. In London, with current policies towards the destruction of social housing, the panel will ask: Can a home negotiate the intimacy of domestic life yet be a civic/cultural asset where the home owner becomes an active agent?
David Roberts is part of collaborative art practice Fugitive Images and of architecture collective Involve and is also Architectural History & Theory Tutor and Research Ethics Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. He uses poetry and performance to explore the relation between people and place. His research, art and cultural activist practice engages community groups whose homes and livelihoods are under threat from urban policy. He co-wrote and co-produced the documentary/fiction film, Estate, a Reverie; co-curated the exhibition Real Estates around issues of spatial justice; and co-coordinated the successful campaign to list Balfron Tower at Grade II*. He has exhibited, lectured and published work related to public housing, architecture, critical methodologies and site-specific practice.
Torange Khonsari co-founded the art and architecture practice public works in 2004, an interdisciplinary practice working in the threshold of participatory and performative art, architecture and related fields of anthropology, always engaged with notions of civic in the city. Their projects are socially and politically motivated and directly impact public space. Torange is currently a director of public works, and an Adjunct Professor in UMA school of architecture in Sweden where she teaches architecture and activism. Public works are also associate partners of Tate Exchange.
Eduardo Padilha is an artist working with found materials, reassembling them to reveal the experience of where urban private and public domain intersect. The appropriation, deployment, and dislocation of the objects are the points of departure as a search for new modes of signification. Since 2006, Padilha has run BalinHouseProjects (BHP), a non-profit, artist-run space in London SE1. BHP has now two sites where ‘The Laundry Room’ – a home and project space – provides a platform for exhibitions, dialogues and a space for networking with other artist-run organisations and initiatives. Its second prototype is ‘The Other Space’ a plot of land located in Loughborough, London SE5.
Sonia Uddin is a resident of Camden Studios, an artist live/work studio complex, built in 1966. In 2016 she helped found Camden Studios Tenants and Residents Association, in order to negotiate the rights of residents, in response to the local authority’s plans to redevelop a part of the studio complex. She is researching the history of the site including past and present residents. Having completed an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art in 2004, she has worked within a collaborative art practice Uddin & Elsey, engaging with group dynamics and social exchange, working in performance, sculpture and print.