»Where others see a living-room, I see a stage.« Researcher, writer, artist, and performer Jean-Lorin Sterian organizes a shifting art festival hosted by various domestic spaces across European cities: lorgennale. In this blog, he shares his experiences and insights visiting apartments, organizing events, discovering new artistic potential. What is contained in the four walls? The unconscious of a society?
In addition to the blog, an interactive map collects homemade arts and culture events worldwide. Soon the artistic experiments will happen in Stuttgart apartments and transform ten living rooms and bedrooms into stages.
I’ve always felt good in other’s homes. I love my own house, but surely it’s not sufficient. I need to leave it from time to time so that I can enjoy it when I’m back. Or I need to see my home reflected in the eyes of others. Two to three months before the HomeFest – the festival that I’ve managed in Bucharest since 2014 – I begin to visit apartments in order to evaluate their artistic potential. If it made sense, I would start a business: a cultural-real estate agency. Where others see a living-room, I see a stage. And I’m not the only one anymore. I am pleased by the large number of people who open their homes to performances and strangers. It’s one of the many beautiful things that I do love about Bucharest, the willingness of the dwellers to host and to meet strangers at home. Of course, for them this happens only once a year, during the festival.
The common domestic box turns into a magic box. In turn, artistic acts are influenced by the domestic space that hosts them. I defined the domestic box as a space in which performative artistic acts are happening intentionally. It activates when it materializes an encounter between works of art and the public, an encounter mediated by the space. Homemade culture is what arises from this meeting, the live product generated in and by the domestic space.
»In my art work the key words are social mask, exposure, outrospe, presentation of the self. The domestic space is the best space to explore all these issues, everything that I need to find out about a person and the society where this person is living is contained within the four walls.« Jean-Lorin Sterian
The next step is to manage a roving art event, lorgennale, that will travel from city to city through Europe. I have always enjoyed creating various frames for bringing people together. For me, art is a manifestation of an existential research, in a conscious or unconscious way, which takes various aesthetic shapes. Being alive means a constant interrogation. We all try to understand our inner drive, to answer the question »Why do I what I do?« The works of art are answers and questions at the same time. I do not know anymore if I was the one who chose to work in this niche, homemade culture, or if it has chosen me.
I might be an artist of the social contexts, there is something mercurial about myself that even I cannot grasp. In my art work the key words are social mask, exposure, outrospe, presentation of the self. The domestic space is the best space to explore all these issues, everything that I need to find out about a person and the society where this person is living is contained within the four walls.
I think home is the unconscious of the society, the hidden and deep part where the most important decisions are made. That’s why I was so pleasantly surprised when I discovered how widespread and how many forms this phenomenon can take. I have started to build an online map in order to find out more and more projects from all over the world. I strongly reckon that the research of homemade culture could bring something essential in order to understand the world we live in.
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