The conversion of the van
Converting the van is a BIG job. My DIY skills are on a scale from 1 - 10 at about 2. Chiara's skills however make up for my low score. She is somewhere between 9 and 10. When converting a van you either do it right or not. There is no in-between. I think there is. There is always an in-between. But hey, I am not alone in the van. Insulation and fresh air are important. Condensation is a killer.
Hackney Wick, Fish Island: Den-city 1, curated by Rebecca Feiner
Den-City 1 allowed us to carry out preliminary tests to determine the parameters and logistics of our road trip:
adventure in a van
camper van art residency
The first idea was to work on the conversion of the van into a mobile road trip unit / camper van during the event as a practical performative action. During the work the van became a sculpture. It wasn't just a van any more. This opened up the questions of what the van actually is. Is it simply a van? Is it a sort of art mobile? A gallery? The social aspect of the project has become my main focus, especially at a time when rents are going through the roof (in London) and the affordable housing is something like 80% of the market value according to Boris Johnson. Here we have it all: a place to live, to work and show off what we think should be hanging on the walls of people who consider 80% of the market value (GBP800.000 for a three bed room flat!) is okay.
work-in-progress installation/sculpture 26 June
work-in-progress installation/sculpture 27 June
The beach shelter we installed on the second day has a very practical purpose: sun protection for Delphine. It is the perfect marriage of art and pragmatism.
various found objects, a drawing and work materials/tools for the conversion of the van
The book and the clock are from our former house mate Amy, the box of chalks used to belong to Chiara's grandfather. The beautiful diagram-drawing by Chiara reminds me of my other project By-product. The remaining tools are all used for cutting foam etc. The two books are part of my on-going hand-written diaries. There is also a piece of foam we use for the insulation of the van. There is also a ruler as you can.
I enjoy creating arrangements of things. I like creating order and have things perfectly line-up. Another project of the same kind is Archive of a Thousand Lives.
Chiara drawing a diagram of the layout of the van. This is a trial set-up of how we can work and show work at the same time.
Chiara breastfeeding in the van.
This drawing highlights the beginning of my search for identity, functions problematics of Stealth Gallery.
People do not seem to understand what Stealth Gallery is. Most people think we are a gallery and do not know what we are doing. To me personally our presence at Den-city was an ephemeral sculpture that represents migration and movement, the very nature of who and what we are. We travel and settle down and then move on.