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Curating Contemporary Art (MA)

Xinyue Hu

Home: A Domestic Fiction 

Our project proposal, titled Home: A Domestic Fiction, aims to challenge the logocentric modes of curatorial communication and explore a non-hierarchical process of care in which artwork, artist and audience are situated as equal. Understanding the groups that we exist in to be both intentional and unintentional, we see ourselves as an “Unintentional Collective” as a model for rethinking social relations.  

Responding to a brief from Delfina Foundation as the Unintentional Collective, we have developed a card game designed to explore the complexities and multiplicities of the idea of ‘home’ within our globalised world. Giving agency to the personal histories of participants, a complex, intricate network of narratives can be built through gameplay, out of which a live archive of what may constitute a ‘home’ develops as new cards are added to the pack. We have commissioned artists David Blandy and April Lin to design the first two sets of five cards. Through this potentially ever-expanding card deck, the geographic rigidity that the notion of ‘home’ can evoke is challenged, and its ephemerality and temporality are highlighted. We seek to understand how a home is constructed through transient relationships and experiences. 

Our presentation displays the commissioned sets of cards, inviting the audience to explore and respond to the archive produced through playing the game. In an accompanying live event, an improvised sound performance by Hannan Jones and Shamica Ruddock, that uses the archive as score, delves deeper into non-logocentric modes of (re)collection.

My personal image.

I was born in China. I completed a BA in Philosophy at the University of Illinois Chicago, and an MA in Curating Contemporary Art at the Royal College of Art. 

If I had to write something about myself to stay on this page that can no longer be changed, the above is what I am most certain I could say. 

Who am I? I tried to define a proper identity for myself to begin with, but I didn't do it. I have been experiencing frequent changes in my life. If I take something specific as an example, then the changes include my home, my friends, my partner, my major, my school, the city I live in, or the country I live in. If I take an abstract definition, then I am ambivalent, thinking, constructing, and arbitrary. Every time I adapt to an identity, I am about to face a change. Having to state a definite identity makes me tired and I don't need that answer for the moment. So I decided to think about my own existence and my research from a more open perspective.

My experiences make up me, even if they are too small to be accounted for or too abstract to be touched, ultimately these experiences that make up me lead me forward. As I am exploring different people's emotional connections to home as the subject of my curatorial research project, I am strongly aware that there are things I must say as I move forward, and it all starts here. An exploration of the emotions of home has been an important part of my life and now it has become a major part of my research. This is how I think about my life and my studies, is that I have to finish these words before I go to the next stage. I would say that because I have tried to give up and jump to other places, but I still come back to where I was.

A voice comes through and it says finish these words.

So here I am.

In my curatorial research project, I create a digital platform to offer people around the world the opportunity to explore and share their emotional connection to home, regardless of geography or time. Although primarily in the form of virtual exploration, it will also be integrated with reality, for example by exploring corresponding offline locations and completing a dialogue between people across time and space. Change or migration is so frequent across the globe. A place that is foreign to me could be someone else's home. It is empty for me but filled with memories or emotions of others. When I think of it this way, I no longer feel that it is empty, nor is it dangerous and turbulent, it is loaded with at least some emotion. I want to keep expanding it until an attic, a cupboard, a sink, a lamp, a radio, a table all have life.

I know that I will still have to change and rebuild, both my home and myself, so why not let the world "dance" with me?