You probably lived at different places during your life. Perhaps two or three, or if you are a big mover around 10 or more. I have to be honest, since I left the parental house at 18 I lived in 5 different places in Utrecht. 5 accommodations in 10 years, that’s quite a few. Every house was in a different neighbourhood with a different atmosphere and community (the multicultural Turkish/Moroccan, soon to be yuppie, Lombok, the yuppie Wittevrouwen, the working class neighbourhood of Sterrenwijk, …). Reasons of departure varied. How regretting, sad, predictable, or relieving the moves from one house to another were, I can look back at a rich and great adventure in my own city.
American artist Glenn Ligon (b. 1960) reflected in his own way on his hometown New York, where he still lives. Housing in New York: A Brief History, 1960-2007 (2007) is an autobiographical work presenting and telling the story of each address where the artist lived between 1960 and 2007, ten stories in total (encompassing Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan). The work is a reflection on the poetics of community and family, issues of class and race, and the particularities of living and making art in the varied architectures and landscapes of New York.
The ten stories charts the transformations of a rapidly changing city through Ligon’s personal history. It touches upon many challenges most people face when seeking a house, here, in the great American metropole.
Sometimes funny, tragic or infuriating we discover and learn through his experiences issues related to our home as housing discrimination, gentrification, slumlords, domain abuses etc. Ligon shares his personal history as it could be our own. Familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, he lets us rethink what we consider home. Where do you live?