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The Brewery // AUG.3/10/17.2014

Michelle Jane Lee's artist loft blurs the line between art and home at every square foot. In response, dance-makers for homeLA:studio explored color schemes, exit strategies, slowness, augmented kitchen realities, compulsive habits, and morning ritual in an event that seamlessly transitioned one work to the next. This event was especially intimate in scale.

Words from our host nine months after our event:

Hosting homeLA and working with dancers in my space is an experience that still lingers. While a studio is a place filled with activity it serves as a passive space, in that it provides the physical space for works to be created, its architecture and personality is ignored. I calculated the importance of my studio, my home, in how much floor and wall space could accommodate my projects but never once questioned - does the wall, the floor have potential, stories beyond?

The dancers and performers activated a new life to my studio's physical plant. They found new purpose, new meaning, new paths in places I never thought twice about. My kitchen, no longer just a kitchen, my paintings waiting on the wall between shows provided context and visual play while dancers placed themselves in front of them, falling, dancing, standing still. All the spaces demanded their deserved recognition, and once I became aware of this I was more than happy to give it.

While the space being transformed physically was fascinating for me to witness and experience, opening up an intimate space that I keep very private, in the beginning conjured up certain anxieties and challenges. A 1,300 square feet space filled to the brim with my own history, memories collected and kept to be accessible at all times for my own art practice now had to make room for new ideas, new bodies, different thoughts, different stories. It was overwhelming to say the least. But in the process of hosting the rehearsals, and then the wonderful performances, in watching the dancers create, seeing their ideas develop and expand, I recognized my studio was forever expansive and the ideas started to mingle and coexist. 

Even after the dancers were gone, I could see their movements while I worked and it sparked new curiosities and demanded exploration of new idea and thoughts. The dancers became ghosts, like the other ghosts I keep in the studio, something, someone, I look to for inspiration, for motivation, for meaning behind a stoke of paint that I lay down. 

-Michelle Jane Lee