Open House: Common-Unity
(photo: Ayumi Chisolm)
January 19 - February 9, 2019
Open House is a House dance and music community in the greater Los Angeles area. We aim to support and build a haven for dancers and music lovers of all ages, race, color, or creed to get together and share the knowledge of House dance, music, philosophy and club culture. We also aim to preserve the essence of House culture, which focuses on open, honest, and pure expression.
Our weekly program is designed to encompass these tenets of House culture as a place to improve one’s skills, exchange knowledge, history, and energy, as well as to socialize and simply have fun. Open House offers frequent dance workshops, performances and special events in which our mission is to create a safe and positive environment for all participants to release their creativity within house music.
About 60-120 dancers come to our weekly sessions and over 12,000 people have come to Open House Los Angeles from around the world since 2009. Our community is growing rapidly, with chapters in Oakland, CA and Phoenix, AZ with a soon-to-be chapter in Paris, France.
Open House is celebrating 10 years of growth in the community. House music and dance are the common love that brings us together. Open House is a dance community, but participants are music producers, DJs, chefs, graphic designers, painters, teachers, parents, and beyond. We are a community of creativity. By presenting several visual artists in our community, we aim to connect with new people and build an even stronger community. Common means to “belong to all” and “shared by all.” When we share something we love and unite, it becomes Community. Open House has become an example of what true “Community” is. This is an interactive art show with movement, music, and visual art. We welcome you to listen to the music and dance as you look at the artwork in the gallery.
- Emiko Sugiyama, resident and curator
I approached Emiko to create a performance exhibition in the gallery, as I wanted to showcase an art form that normally exists outside of the white cube of the gallery but in recent years has found a great interest from massive institutions and museums around the world. What excited me and continues to inspire me about Open House and their shared notion of a dance-based community is that it is dynamic, ever-changing, vastly inclusive, and fun. I wanted to bring this energy and the various visual art forms it has inspired into this gallery in order to inject it with a vitality that sometimes gets lost amidst its white walls.
House dance originated in underground clubs that were unknown and thus inaccessible to many. Museums and galleries are often seen themselves as inaccessible and elitist spaces and institutions – and they often are. Where art has the potential to unite, it too often divides. The radical truth about the medium of dance is that anyone can do it – it is inclusive of all abilities, and as Open House puts it: “…ages, race, color, or creed.” ace/121 was created as a community gallery. During my time here, I have come to learn about myriad communities within and adjacent to the artist community that lives next door in the ACE/121 development. Many residents have communities of their own, and each of those circles contain their own agreements, tenets and ways of being together. Common-Unity is one version of this, and I am elated to welcome you to this Open House.
- Ben Evans, ace/121 Gallery director
The following public programs were a part of Common-Unity:
New Style Hustle, Afrohouse, Samba & Capoeira
Lecture Series: "Love is the Message: the spirit, the music and the movement" - Moncell Durden