Thursday, May 01, 2008

Art Space Talk: Adi Ezroni-- HomeBase III

764 St. Nicholas Ave @148th st.-- HomeBase III

The HomeBase Project, founded and directed by Anat Litwin, is a unique annual public art project devoted to the exploration of Home. The HomeBase Project is currently celebrating its third year (April 27 - May 18). HomeBase III has landed in a historical landmark townhouse in Sugar Hill, Harlem. This years project includes a group of international artists from Lebanon, USA, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Iran, as well as local Harlem Artists who have inhabited the space to explore and create in it site-specific projects addressing the notion of Home. Visit for further information about the HomeBase Project.
Adi Ezroni offered her time to answer some questions about HomeBase III. Adi, co-producer of the HomeBase Project, is one of the leading actresses and television hosts in Israel . She is also an acclaimed film producer working in the US. One of her films “Holly” is currently out in the theaters.
(credit goes to the photographers-- Oded Hirsch and Adi Shniderman.)
Anat Litwin installation, HOMEBASE III 2008

Brian Sherwin: Adi, you are the co-producer of the HomeBase Project-- a unique annual public art project devoted to the exploration of Home. This is the third year for The HomeBase Project. HomeBase III opened on April 27th. Can you give our readers a brief history about the founding of the HomeBase Project?

Adi Ezroni: Anat Litwin, the founder of HomeBase, was the director of the makor gallery and artist in residence at the 92y. Two years ago she founded the homebase project based on the idea that artists can be architects of meaning. What could be more basic and universal than the concept of home? It is the most fertile ground for artistic exploration, one which fosters understanding and dialogue. SO – HomeBase I was in Greenpoint in 2006 and HomeBase II was in SOHO in 2007. This year we have transformed a 5 floor historical townhouse into HomeBase III!

BS: Adi, can you discuss your position as co-producer of the HomeBase Project? Why did you decide to be involved?

AE: I am an actress and a film producer. I love the arts, and have been involved in socially minded projects for many years (see for examples). Exploring the notion of home artistically when it is such a charged subject in an international setting in gentrifying neighborhoods is truly exciting for me. Anat Litwin is a magnetizing presence! She is so professional, creative, and passionate. She is an extraordinary artist in her own right. I wanted to help make it happen and get the word out.

BS: How are artists selected for involvement in the HomeBase Project? Can artists submit their work for consideration or are they personally selected by the coordinators of the project? Are there other ways that people can support the project?

AE: Up till now, the artists have been selected by the coordinators of the project and mainly by Anat who has many years of experience in curating public art projects. The artists needed to be open minded about working in a site specific setting for a month, being part of a communal setting not just an exhibit and from various cultural backgrounds. We hope to open it up to submissions in the next couple of years.

Ken Launder Guest installation, HOMEBASE III 2008

BS: Adi, what can you tell our readers about the study component of the project? It is my understanding that the artists participate in group study sessions during the first month... can you go into detail about that?

AE: Yes, that’s true – HomeBase is about creating a meaningful community of artists, not just another gallery exhibit. In the first phase of the project, the artists meet twice a week for study sessions together. For example, this year, writer, Ruby Namdar joined us for textual exploration of home in ancient texts and Michael Henry Adams joined us for historic background of the neighborhood and the architecture as well as others-- including the artists themselves. In this time, the artists create as well – and the study component elicits additional ideas for their creations.

BS: The project utilizes the Internet... for example, artists post Letters Home via the HomeBase website and the project is documented on the HomeBase website blog. What do you find interesting about this utilization of technology alongside the physical aspects of the project?

AE: The project is more than the physical. It combines the letters home aspect which is the textual representation of the project as well as the video blogs, and color catalogue. By utilizing the internet we are enabling those who have been to the project and want to respond as well as those who have not and want to be part of it – to participate. It is the public engagement aspect that goes beyond just the location. Today many people feel that they find their respective home in niches online…so I guess that’s a part of it too.

Andrea Loefke installation, HOMEBASE III 2008

BS: Adi, can you tell our readers more about HomeBase III? I understand that 17 international artists working in different mediums are involved with the project this year. Perhaps you can give us some information about a few of these artists?

AE: Anat Litwin – Israel - the founder and director of the project is also an artist - she has taken up the living room on the third floor and created an object theater with her personal objects from home that reflect a place of ceremony and relationship. She has added a vocabulary in the form of cut outs and text that assists in opening up the riddle/puzzle of objects. For example – the ceremony of cleaning with the ordinary yellow gloves is given the higher meaning as a spiritual healing.

Andrea Leofke – Germany – is an accomplished German installation artist, who has shown extensively in NY and Germany , and is a Smack Melon resident. Andrea has created a whole room based on the concept food/cooking in a humoristic atmosphere that takes from a picnic scene. As we were speaking of home, many artists including Andrea spoke of food/homecooking as a major feature in what they felt home means to them. Andrea actually cooks at the project every Wednesday at 8 pm and throughout the weekends, simple homey foods – like oatmeal.

Sylvie Degiez and Wayne Lopes – Swiss/USA – created a sound installation in the penthouse which incorporates various soundtracks using 3 universal chords. Though the tracks are extremely different from each other, they work in harmony and won’t repeat in 365 days.

Annabelle Daou – Lebanon - has shown extensively in the US and is also a director and curator of numerous art projects. She has created a room with the view of the horizon, yet the view is made by building blocks that actually block the real view.

Alex Schweder – US – is an architect and artist who has exhibited extensively In the US including the SF MOMA and others. He has taken the living room on the fourth floor and "swept it under the carpet" thus creating a new terrain and challenging our conception of a "living" room.

YelleB ensemble performing “rooms” every Saturday/Sunday at 1:30 and 5 pm

BS: You share a space in HomeBase III as well, correct? Can you tell our readers about the site specific art that you have created in that space?

AE: Yes, I have decided to forfeit my "room" and take up the nook under the stairs. That’s where I feel comfortable/safe. I have created a video projection of a white masked figure. To me, feeling displaced/in transition/on the threshold of, is like being faceless, and in a way I am the ghost in the attic…a figure that is between up and down, kind of in the middle.

BS: Each year there is great interest in how the artists will reflect their ideas of 'home'. Adi, in your opinion... why has the HomeBase Project been so successful? Why does this exploration of 'home' capture the attention of viewers?

AE: I believe it is a seemingly simple concept (though very complex in its outcome) and very universal – it is welcoming and enigmatic at the same time.

Xaveira Simmons, Installation, HOMEBASE III 2008

BS: In what way do you hope to see the HomeBase Project expand? Are there any plans to take the project global?

AE: We are looking forward to expanding the project to communities in the US and internationally. We hope to be in Berlin next year.

BS: Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers about HomeBase III or the HomeBase Project in general?

AE: Please check our website for upcoming events – it is continuously changing. We welcome everyone! Thank you so much for this thoughtful interview.

You can learn more about the HomeBase Project by visiting the following website-- You can read more of my interviews by visiting the following page--

Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin

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