Halfhouse arose from the idea of dividing our house in two and offering one part as an exhibition space. Although our idea was a separation between one activity and the other, once put into practice everything ended up mixed together.
The idea of using the house for activities other than those of the home always appealed to us not only as the physical attributes of the space seemed to call for it, but the need to skip the typical parameters of the art world which is managed by all but the artists themselves.
The relationship between the private and the public could be represented by the house and the outside. What was before considered public space is today almost entirely privatized, something highlighted by the 15M movement in Plaza Catalunya. The street rarely provides a platform for community action. In some ways staging public events at home could be considered a retreat, in that it’s a return to the place of safety and protection. On the other hand it is redefining the idea of home or the idea of privacy. Basically nothing in life is inherently private, not shitting, or copulating, nothing. Privacy is defined by social norms and cultural trends.
In Halfhouse we want to maintain the homeliness of the space while providing a serious and integral platform for the work exhibited. Our openings are the high point and occur every one or two months. Initially our intention was to offer tortillas and wine, but the menu has been amplified to include lentils in winter and russian salad in summer.
We have also established a summer artist residency which we do once a year in which the guest artist lives in our house during the summer months and we go away. Halfhouse is, at the end of the day, a house so the residency was a logical step, but it’s also particluar in that the artists live and sleep in the exhibition space, so that the resulting exhibition is more the spirit of a lived experience than a autonomous exhibition.
In the two years of the project we have been fortunate enough to work with splendid and generous artists. To see their involvement in the project and have the pleasure of assisting in the development of their exhibitions provides us with the greatest satisfaction. We have also been fortunate to work with Patricia Carrasco who has a rare love for art and administration. Thanks also to Luis Bisbe who has collaborated with us whenever we needed him. And of course we want to thank all who have an interest in the project and have come to Halfhouse to participate in its activities.
Sinéad Spelman and Alberto Peral