"House Magic" project exhibition at ABC No Rio, April 21 thru May 7, 2009

wow, is this antique!

As of April 2010, this project has mushroomed out of control. The show is up at Basekamp in Philadephia probably through May of 2010. Then it packs, and hits the road for London end of June, with a swing through Detroit for the US Social Forum.
In the meantime, life has gone on for HOUSE MAGIC, as detailed at the regular blog "Occupations & Properties" -- you can still just Google that and it'll come up.
Occupations & Properties

9/09: The "House Magic" show at ABC No Rio is winding to a close... Our last week spins out some more general concerns, and leads into the next venue -- the "University of Trash," Michael Cataldi and Nils Norman's exhibition at the Sculpture Center in Queens. This summer show opens May 10 and runs through August 3, 2009.
These artists have put out a call for a "Free Skool" as part of the show -- contact freeskool [at] universityoftrash.org, and "fan their Facebook page" to keep current. European vistors to NYC from social centers: please contact Michael and Nils and me to schedule a live presentation or to do a show on the radio station -- "me" is at awm13579 [at] gmail.com
press release for U of T:
U of T project website:

Maybe the zine is here.

Description and Schedule for HM:BFC at ABC thru 5/7

“House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence” process exhibition at ABC No Rio
April 21 to May 7, 2009
evening events Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings
website for special show-related events – https://sites.google.com/site/housemagicbfc/
organizers' blog -- http://occuprop.blogspot.com/
The social center movement in Europe will be the focus of a project exhibition at the Lower East Side cultural center ABC No Rio during later April and early May. Images and information, videos and discussion will engage the realities of this vital urban movement.
An outgrowth of political squatting, the social center in occupied vacant buildings was a key feature of the Italian Autonomist movement of the 1970s and '80s. Squats on the Lower East Side of New York City in the 1990s borrowed elements of the English and German social center models, including cafes, infoshops (library/bookstores), performance spaces and art galleries. These models also influenced the “infoshops” of the anarchist movement throughout the U.S.A.. Across Europe, the often short-lived social centers became important organizing foci of the global justice movement during the first decade of the new century.
The "House Magic" exhibition will be an open structure, a channel for a continuous flow of information from the social centers themselves. Bulletins will be posted, banners will be painted, soup will be served. Video documentaries will be screened, and guests will discuss their experiences with social centers.
The social centers arose out of direct action squatting. In the new century, however, these actions have been less about housing, and more intended to create social, cultural and political space for action in the city.
In many cases, social center squatting is a response to gentrifying development in the city, an instance of "bottom up planning and architecture." The social centers are usually well integrated into the neighborhoods in which they are set up, and provide free space for cultural activities to take place. Many social centers work closely with immigrant groups, organizing, supporting and demonstrating to protect their rights.
From April 17 to May 10, we will be working the theme at ABC No Rio, processing and presenting information about the social center movement. A key node in global justice organizing, squatted social centers have sprung up in cities throughout Europe. They represent a new wave of activism, often highly theorized, with participation by both radical intellectuals and grassroots activists.Increasingly architects, urban planners and artists are joining political activists in this movement.
"House Magic" is the first step in an ongoing project which invites public participation as we share the stories and synthesize the lessons of the vivid life and often spectacular deaths of these temporary autonomous zones.
Among the centers and agencies past and present considered in the show are Bowl Court, Ramparts, CoolTan, Advisory Service for Squatters (ASS) and 56a in London, El Patio Maravillas, Seco, Laboratorio, and Caracole (Madrid), La Casa Invisible (Malaga), Krax City Mine(d), (Barcelona), ESC Atelier Occupato (Rome), Rote Floria (Hamburg), ROG (Ljubljana), and many others.
"Social Center" on Wikipedia
blog of the show, called "Occupations and Properties"
Films about squatted social centers and related questions will be screened on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, accompanied by discussions around a bowl of soup and bread – an evocation of the VoKü (Volxküchen, or people’s kitchen) of German and Dutch squats. The films will start at 7pm. A₪20.39freewill donation is requested to cover the cost of the films.
2. Schedule of Events
Tuesday 21
Germany -- Guest: Michel Chevalier, Hamburg [http://targetautonopop.org]
"ARCHIV Kultur & soziale Bewegung"(Hamburg/Berlin) member Michel Chevalier presents this group's intervention/contribution during the Berlin conflict that pit the art-space Künstlerhaus Bethanien against the squatters at IZB/NewYorck in 2006.On that occasion "ARCHIV Kultur & soziale Bewegung" commissioned documentary videos from the squats Forde (Geneva) and La Générale (Paris), and the filmmakers came up to Berlin to discuss their perspectives with the New Yorck activists, and collectively tackle this broader question: are
'contemporary art" and democracy irreconcilably at odds?
http://www.archiv.glizz.net/? page_id=20v
As a bonus, the 30mn documentary film "Forde, un squat a Genève' by Cicero Egli, Sophia Bulliard and MuriCicero Egli, Sophia Bulliard and Murièle Begert will be screened tonight, a North American premiere.
Wednesday 22
United Kingdom -- “Take Over,” directed by Jordie Montevecchi
The film follows a group of Brighton, UK, squatters who take over an old church. U.S. premiere.
Thursday 23
Netherlands, Amsterdam – “The City Was Ours,” by Joost Seelen (time?; 1996; Dutch with English subtitles)
Amsterdam squatting movement, 1970s to 1980s; short subjects
Tuesday 28
Spain, Barcelona -- Octavi Royo, "Okupa, Crónica de una Lucha Social" [Spanish & Catalan with English subtitles] Reflexión sobre el fenómeno de la okupación que empieza con el desalojo del Cine Princesa en Barcelona (1996) y termina en la actualidad; Dara Greenwald "Tactical Tourist" [English]; selected bangin' shorts from "Resistir es Crear: 10 años junto al Centro Social - Casa de Iniciativas de Málaga"
Guests: Emily Piper Forman and friend
Wednesday 29
Spain, Madrid -- "Laboratorio 3, Ocupando el Vacio" (66 min.; 2007; Spanish with English subtitles); music videos from Casa Iniciativas, Malaga
Thursday 30
Italy – Oliver Ressler -- “Disobbedienti,” 54 min., Ital./Ger./Engl., 2002 {with Dario Azzellini}
Tuesday 5
“Visions of Utopia,” directed by Geoff Kozeny; Part One, the historical background (94 min.; 2009); and excerpts from Part Two, on urban communes Two (about 30 min); collective living discussion with James Andrews of Nsumi, other invitees
Wednesday 6
Zurich -- The Art Squat – “Dada Changed My Life,” directed by Lou Lou and Daniel Martinez (2004; 30 min.) about the Zurich art squatting action that saved the Cabaret Voltaire Guest: Olga Mazurkiewicz, will screen also vintage Dada shorts and talk about Dada in her life
Thursday 7
Denmark, Copenhagen -- “Christiania You Have My Heart,” directed by Nils Vest (62 min.; 1991; Danish with English subtitles)
talk with Rebecca Zorach

A rotating selection of videos will be playing in the gallery, including the following artists’ documentaries:
Oliver Ressler -- “Disobbedienti,” 54 min., Ital./Ger./Engl., 2002 {with Dario Azzellini}; and “What Would It Mean To Win?” 40 min. / 2008 / PAL / Engl./Ger./French (with Zanny Begg),
Marcelo Expósito, "Primero de Mayo (La Ciudad-fábrica) [First of May (The City Factory)]" (61 minutes, 2004) Span./Engl.

For “House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence,” a process exhibition on squatted social centers at ABC No Rio in New York City April 17th until May 10th, 2009, we welcome self-representations of social centers worldwide, past and present. “House Magic” is an attempt to show this vital and inspiring movement to an audience in the U.S. We welcome pictures, texts, videos (any format), zines, posters, stencil designs, and other media that express the special experiences of collective work to open, build and sustain these centers. We would love to receive objects -- but electronic files are okay. We will print them out and display them, and execute your stencil designs. In addition to pictures, posters and texts, the month of “House Magic” will see continuous conversations at ABC No Rio about social centers, their work and possibilities for the future. If you are in town during that time, please let us know and come by to visit and share your experiences. (Travel venue presentation late April in Chicago for Version Fest 09; second iteration at Sculpture Center, July 2009.)
Send files to: housemagicabcnorio@gmail.com with a cc to:
awm13579@gmail.com -- and packages to
“House Magic”
ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street
New York, NY, 10002=2441
an organizer is blogging the show set-up at:
Michel Chevalier discusses Lucy Lippard's essay "Rejecting Retrochic"
Monday, April 20th -- 7 to 8:30
Bluestockings Books
172 Allen St - New York, NY 10002

Reading Lippard's "Rejecting Retrochic" 30 years later.
Subsequent developments and possible sequels.

with Michel Chevalier («target: autonopop», Hamburg, Germany)

Published in the Village Voice in December 1979, Lucy Lippard's humorous and provocative treatment of those alibis for quietist withdrawal that were (and still are) endemic to the art world(s) is still powerful today... and also raises issues relative to the responsibilites of artists and the finalities of art that "institution-critical" 1990s artists effectively brushed aside.
High time, then, to return to this text. We will closely read a few passages, discuss the backlash that followed Lippard's essay in the 80s, and consider newer forms and initiatives that have since tried to make good on art's critical "eye opening" effects and power to undermine arbitrary restrictions and hierarchies.

Michel will also talk about the Hamburg squatted social centers
at "House Magic: Bureau of Foreign Correspondence"
at ABC No Rio gallery
156 Rivington Street -- NYC
Tuesday, 4/21 7-9 pm

SQEK Squats by Country

מה קרה לך אחי נפלת על הראש שלך איזה מן דבר זה כשפים? מה אתה מכשף כישופים זה על הפנים אי אפשר לעשות דברים כאלה זה ממש מזיק וזה עושה אותך כזה קטן. לא עושים דברים כאלה אחי תתבגר, מה אתה בקטע של כישופים?
זה על הפנים וזה ממש מזיק לבנאדם הורס לו את החיים כפשים זה ממש נורא. אמא שלי אמרה לי את זה וגם סבתא שלי ואחרי זה כולם אמרו לי את זה. כי זה ממש מזיק.
יש איש אחד הוא לקח עור של דוב ושן של זאב וכתב בדם של איזה חיה טורפת עשה כשפים ממש מעצבנים זה לא נראה לי בכלל. לא מקובל עלי דבר כזה ולא יקום ולא יהיה כי כשפים הם משהו נורא ואיום