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This is Our House

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‘THIS IS OUR HOUSE’ is a performance art event by Kimbal Quist Bumstead in collaboration with BasementArtsProject that looks at the boundaries and distinctions between public and private space. The work will look at ideas of sustainability in art and the possible disjunctions that may occur when private life and public activity are placed under one roof.


I have, over the last few years, been fortunate enough to work on various occasions with Kimbal Bumstead a most singular performance artist if ever there was one. If it would be possible to refer to someones practice and thought processes as a Gesamkunstwerk then I would certainly use it here. After being party to the process of deciding how a work should operate and what it should involve I can honestly say that no stone was left unturned, no reason left unrationalised.

In this first work commisioned by BasementArtsProject the brief was to create something that drew inspiration and material from the nature of the location and its inhabitants. The resultant piece involved drawings and a scale model of the entire house surrounded by photographic portraits and the live manipulation and transmission of voice recordings of guests. In this scenariothe basement becomes a repository of information pertaining to a specific point in time; two potentially conflicting purposes meet in a confined space and a strange confused dialogue occurs. But a dialogue it is – consisting of 27 voices chattering at once, emanating from the chimmney downstairs as a party occurs upstairs. Although the installation is downstairs the focus of said installation is in the kitchen. Dropping in on the artwork in progress every now and then the layers of voices increase as new guests arrive and a sleeping baby elsewhere in the house is skyped to a plinth in a darkened corner.

Although the event finishes at 9pm the last remaining participants are just leaving at about 10:30. Afterwards we [Debs and Kim and myself] sit around the table and drink a bottle of vodka as the sound piece continues to loop ad infinitum in the basement, ghostly residue of a party that refuses to end; hopefully a metaphor for the BasementArtsProject. Eventually we have to shut it off but the echo of such events continues far beyond the looping sound.

Marconi believed that a sound once made never truly dies but continues on into eternity growing ever fainter, far beyond the reaches of our perception. I like the idea that he could be right.

Bruce     6/4/11



  1. Pingback: Do we get the culture we deserve in South Leeds? « South Leeds Life - January 9, 2012

  2. Pingback: Basement project « Third Space - March 30, 2012

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