Shelter in Place

Setareh Noorani & Matt Plezier (SMET)
Residency: February – June 2021
Workshops: May-June 2021

Installation: on view 4 July – 5 September 2021, as part of the exhibition Missing Homes.
Info boot tours through Hoorn, departing from HMK*:
Saturday, 17 July, 12.00 to 13.00, with SMET
Saturday, 31 July (time TBA), with Martijn Aerts

*During the info booth tours, the project travels outside the walls of HMK and through the city to actively, physically and metaphorically continue the exchange between SMET and (the residents of) Hoorn. Everyone is welcome to attend the tour; meeting point is HMK and a reservation is not necessary.

Follow Shelter in Place on Instagram: @shelterinplace_smet

Since February 2021, Setareh Noorani and Matt Plezier have been working together on a project at and about HMK and its surroundings with the title Shelter in Place. As an artistic duo, SMET investigates the notion of shelter as it is offered within a community, or as it is not. In what way do uncertain times affect the degree and way in which we shelter and receive each other, both typologically and metaphorically? Especially in a world that is hyper-individualistic and hit by an ongoing pandemic? In the coming months, SMET will explore various aspects of this question within the context of Hoorn, its history and its surroundings.

SMET: “Our personal experience is one where the need for shelter has not only been an abstract concept but one of survival, escaping domestic violence and loneliness within the home situation and blatant racism outside of it. The need for such space and a support infrastructure has been elementary to understanding the importance of shelter in all its formats. The core question of what a shelter constitutes, as a space, is entangled with important questions on how it can serve as a haven of care.

A shelter is a basic necessity, a domestic archetype through which we can channel various intergenerational modes of activism – the feminist waves, the squatters movements, the postcolonial movement and their homebase as central organization unit, the organizations giving shelter to refugees – as well as very personal environments of reciprocal care or the lack thereof. Architecture is a powerful shaper of our environment through the political desire it channels and at the same time our environments construct and constrain us.”

A Situated Architecture As Communal Ritual
Following the research, SMET organizes various workshops and meetings in spring (in small covid-proof settings) that allow participants to engage in a more active conversation with each other about cohesion and cooperation as a form of shelter, as well as the urgency to implement this in a more constructive way. Various connections and (local) partners for further research are sought through workshops. For example, there will be a children’s workshop “Make your own shelter” with artist Navid Nuur, in which children are invited to build their own “dream”(t) house. Collaborative posters, postcards and (maga)zines are made, spoken word is written and cooking sessions in collaboration with local initiatives and organizations such as Stichting Netwerk and the Mamacafé are organized.

Collective building
In the course of the project, a mobile information booth will be built, a basic structure that will increasingly take shape on the basis of the insights that these workshops offer. The information booth will travel through Hoorn, seeking interaction with a variety of communities that can actively and physically annotate the information booth with their stories. The structure will outline the contours for a collective multimedia installation to be further developed, which is part of the summer exhibition at HMK, curated by Danai Giannoglou.

“During our residency at Hotel Maria Kapel, we will operate a mobile infobooth: a traveling, nomadic architecture. From here we will host walks, distribute analog information (brochures, pamphlets, and postcards) on Hoorn’s stories, and bring together different groups of people co-existing in the city and its surroundings.”

Made possible with the help of: Mondriaan Fonds, Gemeente Hoorn and Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie