Anat is an Israeli artist and curator based in Brooklyn. She received her BFA from the Bezalel Academy, Department of Fine Arts in Jerusalem, Israel in 2001, and her MFA from Hunter College in NY, Department of Combined Media, in 2005. She is the recipient of the American-Israeli Sharet foundation award for outstanding artists 2001, and the receiver of the Mandel award for young artists. She has served as Director of the Makor Gallery and Artists-in-Residence program of the 92nd St. Y 2005-2007, and has curated numerous exhibitions in public and private venues.
Anat Litwin: The HomeBase project began in 2006. At the time I was working full-time as the Director of the Makor Gallery and Makor Artists-in-Residence program of the 92nd Street Y. Through my work on these programs I realized the immense creative potential of an artistic community based on study, creativity, and dialog. Parallel to that I continued my own art practice and received a huge studio space - an entire floor in a brownstone building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn - for a period of two months.
AL: While I studied at Hunter College, I took a few courses about Public Art at the Graduate Center in New York City with Prof. Hariett Senie. These courses had tremendous influence on me and marked the significance, as well as the potential, of art in the public sphere. I became passionate about challenging the boundaries of art in the urban and natural landscape, and wrote a paper titled "Journey as a form of Public art" which traced a group of contemporary artists who used the journey as a medium in there work (Richard Long, Anna Mandietta, Marina Abramovitch, Raffael Lomas, Min Tanaka, Francis Alys and others). This research touched deeply upon the notion of the nomad artist, and in an indirect way raised the question of Home.
BS: You served as the Director of the Makor Gallery and have curated numerous exhibitions in public and private venues. How did those experiences help you in the creation of the HomeBase Project? How is the HomeBase Project unique compared to some of the other venues you have worked on?
AL: I served as the Director of the Makor Gallery and Makor Artist-in-Residence program 2005 – 2007. I was nominated to this position about a week after I graduated from Hunter College, with an MFA in fine arts. As a result I guess, I directed a lot of my creative energy towards building these programs and curating different exhibitions at the Makor Gallery.
BS: I understand that you plan to expand the direction of the HomeBase Project. For example, I read that there are plans to exhibit the next HomeBase somewhere in Germany. Can you give our readers some insight into your future plans for the HomeBase Project?
AL: I would like to step back a moment and speak briefly about the structure of the project: The HomeBase Project is an annual wandering site-specific project, which takes place each Spring in a different raw urban space. The Project is divided into 3 basic phases, each phase three weeks long: Phase I: Cultural Laboratory - includes creating a temporary artistic community of 12-18 artists from diverse cultural and artistic backgrounds, inhabiting a raw urban space and allocating a room for each artist, creating the site specific art projects and sharing 6 group sessions, which include study, lectures and cross cultural dialog. Phase II: Engagement with the Public – Opening our doors to the public and creating a series of events, tours, performances, games, salons, performances, dancing and talks, engaging the public in an interactive way. The project also includes community space that functions as an open stage for the public. Phase III – Documentation of the project: Documenting the entire process as webisodes, on-line postings, film and through a printed catalog.
BS: Are there any plans to turn the project into a traveling exhibit-- as in, moving the project from one location to the next during the span of time that the project is open? Or will the focus remain on one location at a time?
AL: HomeBase is a wandering project opposed to a traveling one, as it is basically site-specific, and includes each year a new group of artists in a new venue. It is open to the public only for the duration of three weeks. This temporary and transitory aspect is key for cultivating a fresh exploration of Home.
BS: How can people get involved with the project? Are donations accepted to help fund the project?
AL: HomeBase is a non-or profit artistic and educational project, fiscally sponsored by a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization FJC. We are in need of financial support to continue the project and donations are much appreciated. Contributions can be made on-line. We accept credit card donations through the auspices of JustGive.org. Donors may access FJC's "Make a Donation" page in JustGive using the following link: www.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=13-3848582. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. To find out more information about becoming a HomeBase supporter or sponsor please visit our website: www.homebaseproject.com.
BS: Was HomeBase III a success?
AL: HomeBase III was a huge success, and attracted about 2,500 visitors, as well as recurring visitors, both neighbors, artists and random passersby, who came back to our Home 3-4-5 times and engaged in the many public events. In addition many viewers experienced the project through the webisodes and on-line communication.
HomeBase III: till death do us Anat Litwin
HomeBase III: till death do us Anat Litwin
BS: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about the HomeBase Project or HomeBase III?