House Visit

“It’s not that we think so much alike, but that we do this thinking-business for and with each other” Hannah Arendt

HOUSE VISIT was initiated by five artists who first met in Glasgow in 2012: Conor Cooke, Birthe Jorgensen, Emil Lillo, Joanna Peace and Iede Reckman

The project arose out of necessity and friendship. Finding ourselves in an increasingly hostile economic and political climate, we were drawn to the history, debate and contemporary practice of self-organisation in arts communities. We were each interested in re-imagining how as artists we can organise our lives, and are now setting up ways through this project to come together and do this re-imagining collaboratively and collectively. Friends as well as collaborators, we believed that friendship can be a powerful position from which to practice, if we allow knowledge to emerge from the common strangeness between us (Blanchot, M, ‘Friendship’, 1997, p.291). We sought to create temporary enclaves within which we can experiment with forms of life, exchange and production (Graeber, D, ‘Revolutions in Reverse’, 2011, p.95). 

For the first phase of HOUSE VISIT we visited artist-run space Billytown in The Hague. Co-run by fellow collaborator Iede Reckman, Billytown became our home and studio for two weeks in May 2014. Siting ourselves within this example of self-organisation also gave us access to the numerous artist initiatives in The Hague, with whom we met to widen our discussion and research. While in The Hague we met with the artist Annechien Meier, artist-run spaces/galleries 1646, Walden Affairs and West, and Stroom, a foundation that supports much of the artistic activity in The Hague. At the end of our two weeks we hosted a day of film-screenings, meals and performances open to the public, as a way of saying thank you to our hosts and to share some of our experiments with the people we had met.