What does home mean to you? Where do you feel at home? When do you feel at home? Why do you feel at home? Is it important for you to feel at home? To what extent does your sense of home travel? How many homes can you have? How do ideas of home shape our sense of place and identity? Do concepts of home influence our expectations in life? Can we envision home without walls? These questions and more formed the key ingredients for the Opening Night of resident artists Alice Pons and Olivia Reschofsky and inform their forthcoming project The office of lost time
At the entrance all visitors were invited to fill out a questionnaire to engage in an initial paper dialogue about home and sharing. It was the energetic slam poet Swindey Helm that truly kicked off this homely event. Her words echoed in varied forms throughout the evening and than particularly “Where do we draw the line between inside and outside?”
After this poetic starter we moved towards the next space, got rid of our shoes and took a seat in the cosy Living Room at a table with one of the wonderful hosts of the evening, Alice Pons, Olivia Reschofsky, Merel Noorlander, Rex Clemensia and Zsófia Paczolay, while David Reschofsky played comforting live music.
Following a first round of getting to know each other and exchanging things we could offer one another we toasted with the Hungarian spirit Pálinka and ate a warm soup while Special Guest Anne Breure shared her ideas on home/house through three different but related ‘home making practices’ or rather houses that foster imagination: Het Gele Huis (The Yellow House)
, Flat 34
and Het Veem Theater
Inspired by these practices and ideas the conversations with our hosts continued and several performative interventions took place, including a slow dance in pairs and threesomes and an astonishing guitar solo by David Reschofsky.
In the last round of conversations a quote from James A. Tuedio fuelled the discussion.
[There is a] tenuous friction between our desire to have a place, a home, or a ground, and our desire to go beyond these structures, to leave our home, to be free for travel, adventure, and the experience of wildness.
Tuedio, James A. “Thinking about home. An opening for discovery in philosophical practice.” Herrestad, Henning, Anders Holt, Helge Svare (Eds.). Philosophy in Society. Oslo: Unipub Forlag, 2002: 201-215.
At the end of this evening there was no a single answer to the questions that were raised at the beginning. Notions of wood, fernweh [wanderlust] and many more circulated in the Living Room. What this Opening Night underlined is that:
Home is a spatial imaginary: a set of intersecting and variable ideas and feelings, which are related to context, and which construct places, extend across spaces and scales, and connect places.
Blunt Alison, Robyn Dowling. Home. New York: Routledge, 2006.
Hence the only 'conclusion' we could draw is that we are looking forward to thinking further with Alice and Olivia in their misplaced home with daily office opening hours premiering at the Hoekenrodeplein this spring: The office of lost time.