Home is Where the He(art) is –

By: Piia Rossi

Oct 02 2012

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Art, emigrant, expatriate, Trailing spouse


Focal Length:5mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon IXUS 130


Things are really heating up here in Bielefeld, due to the upcoming exhibition/event Home is Where the He(art) is –An exhibition by the Trailing Spouses Art Collective, Bielefeld. Planning, printing, writing, editing, mailing, ringing, drawing, dreaming, agitating, meeting, begging… All the normal things that needs doing a month before an exhibition. What is fabulous though is that there are 12 people working on this so none of this work lands on one person.

This is what the exhibition is about:

In the exhibition, Home is where the He(Art) is, artworks explore the positive and negative aspects of constantly moving to a new place or new country using mediums ranging from photography, sculpture, installation and the written word.  The exhibition space itself is transformed into a domestic living space, suitcases rather than plinths display the work, for example. We want the visitor to feel at home, but also question the nature of home. How can one feel “at home”, when they know that it is (again) only temporary? How does one engage in and find a place in their new temporary community?  What is it like to move to a land where you do not speak the language?  These are just examples of the myriad of problems we all must confront.  

The Trailing Spouses Art Collective provides support and resources for people from abroad who have followed their partners to Bielefeld.  We are a multicultural group with members from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia, Great Britain, and North and South America.  Within the context of our shared experience as foreigners, we make art together, exploring issues such as identity, belonging, marginality, and empowerment.

Responsibility for leadership of the group is collaborative.  Members offer their knowledge and skills, leading theme-based workshops ranging from portrait photography to drama. In this way members teach and learn from each other. Through the exchange of art and skills, we can master these issues and find ways to integrate more readily into our communities.

And the same Auf Deutch:

Home is Where the He(art) is – Eine Ausstellung von der Trailing Spouses Art Collective, Bielefeld

In der Ausstellung “Home is where the (He)art is” drücken die Kunstwerke die positiven und negativen Aspekte aus, die mit ständigen Umzügen an neue Ort verbunden sind. Die Ausstellung zeigt Fotografien, Skulpturen, Installationen und Texte an einem Ort, der als Wohnraum gestaltet ist. Der Besucher soll sich “wie zuhause” fühlen und zugleich gängige Vorstellungen von “zuhause” in Frage stellen. Wie fühlt man sich mit dem Wissen, dass die neue Wohnung wieder nur für eine begrenzte Zeit Zuhause sein wird? Wie ist es, einer neuen Gemeinschaft gegenüberzutreten? Wie ist es, in ein Land zu ziehen, in dem die Sprache nicht die eigene Muttersprache ist? Dies sind nur einige Beispiele für eine ganze Reihe von Problemen, mit denen Trailing Spouses konfrontiert sind.

Im Trailing Spouses Art Collective kommen Menschen aus dem Ausland zusammen, die ihren Partnern nach Bielefeld gefolgt sind.  Trailing Spouses ist eine multikulturelle Gruppe von rund zwanzig Mitgliedern aus Skandinavien, Osteuropa, Russland, Großbritannien, Nord-und Südamerika. Die Gruppe bietet die Möglichkeit des Austausches und kreativen Zusammenseins. Im Rahmen unserer gemeinsamen Erfahrung als Ausländer, versuchen wir alle relevanten Themen, wie zum Beispiel Identität oder Zugehörigkeit, künstlerisch umzusetzen.

Trailing Spouses veranstalten themenbezogene Workshops von Portrait-Fotografie bis zu Theatre. Somit können die Miglieder voneinander lernen und ihr Wissen weitergeben.  Die Verantwortung für die Führung der Workshops erfolgt kooperativ. Unsere gemeinsamen Aktivitäten und der Austausch untereinander helfen, diese Herausforderungen besser zu meistern und uns in neue Heimaten zu integrieren.

The image above is a sketch by Olga.

9 comments on “Home is Where the He(art) is –”

  1. Reblogged this on mybielefeld and commented:
    Things are heating up! Our exhibition is coming up at the end of the month…stay tuned!

  2. Reblogged this on Wie sagt man…? and commented:
    Hello all,
    Please check out this post about the art collective that I’m part of. We are called “Trailing Spouses,” and we are all…well…trailing spouses. We have an exhibition of our work coming up, which you can read about below!

  3. great that you do this!
    where will it be shown?

    cheers from helsinki

  4. […] done us! And same again next […]

  5. […] included a conference paper and a trip to Vienna, an article, a funding proposal, and finally the Home is where heART is exhibition. Now all of these projects completed I can take a […]

  6. […] that we aimed to be topical or seasonal with our exhibition Home is where the heART is we nevertheless had lanterns on it. Andrea made these amazing paper lanterns  that acted as a […]

  7. […] image above is from our exhibition Home is where the heART is, Grace’s  The Jar of the Unexpected and here are some goals that she has set up for her self. […]

  8. […] Trailing Spouses Art Collective has been active bit over a year, our exhibition Home is where the H(art) is in  November 2012 actually marked our operations almost by the […]

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