Home 1996 - 2008 Installation
Megan Wilson, Home 1996 - 2008, Installation, 2008
Home 1996 – 2008 was a site-specific installation/environment that utilized the interior space of Wilson’s home to explore and challenge notions of comfort and protection, private and public, and the boundaries between art/life/architecture/ design. The title is a bit of misnomer because Wilson began working on the project in 2004 (the dates reflect the years that she lived at the residence).
In November 2008, I officially opened Home to the public for 4 weeks. The installation was open 1:00-5:00pm Wed-Fri each week. The month also included a series of events and digital projections: 1) Eliza Barrios curated a series of video works that were projected nightly onto a window scrim that was best viewed from across the street; 2) I hosted 2 dinner salons that engaged participants in discussions of home, environment, global forces that have reshaped how interior space is viewed, and contemporary trends in exhibiting and experiencing art; and 3) I invited 3 artists - Gordon Winiemko, Lise Swenson, and Maw Shein Win - to each host an evening of work related to the context of the project.
I began working on Home 1996 - 2008 in 2004 (I moved into 1256 Leavenworth in 1996). I had purchased some vintage curtains and I started cutting out the designs and pinning them on the wall. The first rooms that I worked on were the bathrooms and over time the project continued to grow and include almost every room and surface.
Home 1996 – 2008 referenced and borrowed ideas from artists such as Dadaist Kurt Schwitters, who erected the Merzbau, a real-life expressionistic interior, in his studio in Hanover, Germany; feminists Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, who spearheaded Womanhouse - a series of fantasy environments exploring the various personal meanings and gender construction of domestic space; and conceptualist David Ireland, whose work “has a visual presence that makes it seem like part of a usual, everyday situation;” architects and designers such as Verner Panton, who created floor-to-ceiling and back-down-the-walls-to-the-floor, psychedelic interiors in the sixties and seventies, César Manrique, who designed Star Trek-like party spaces; and communities of West Africa, where each year after harvest, women gather to restore and paint their mud dwellings which are washed away by rain every year.