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Happy House

Umělec magazine 2010/2

01.02.2010

Alena Boika | editorial | en cs de

When we dream of changing the world it is commonly supposed to be idealism. The label “romantic idealism” usually implies the utmost disapproval. Particularly refined minds shape their idealistic views into teachings and programmes, provoking revolutions. But when a revolution fails to occur, the concepts, stubbornly focusing on the search for the way to change and improve the lives of the majority, are given the title of a utopia.

My utopia was a result of my reflections about the term In Transition, which I perceive as denoting not only the state of moving physically, but also changing mentally, moving from one stage to another, in a state of metamorphosis.

This occurred to me when I learned that my house was on sale. Not a big deal – like most of us, moving back and forth, facing the crises and fighting the circumstances, you learn to vent a new solution, steel-heartedly keeping yourself from bogging down in soggy skepticism and stinging everyone around with the unnecessary sarcasm.

So I came up with my Happy House project and found an old villa with a large garden—a place that would be roomy enough to shelter all of us: our editors’ office, me, the artists. And just then there happened to be a contest there: the winner starting the winner’s own “residence programme”. Nowadays, rather by the opportunities, than by the goals—there is no such a term just a few years ago. So came the happiness, and six out of ten were to be selected there.

Aboard the plane, I suddenly discovered that all my hopes were futile, and in fact nobody is going to support our unique experience while visiting the two selected Residence Programmes. My reaction was quite emotional: “How come? What about our own projects? You must give us at least letters of recommendation or something, because if our plans do not work, then your project, Dear Big Residencies, will be considered a failure, and the EU can rightfully enquire – what did you spend our money on?” Hearing which the person I was talking to got genuinely surprised and replied sympathetically: “well, you’re so excited about all that. Do you really think someone will remember your projects in just a couple of years?”

And that was the very moment when I felt desperate. Well really—who cares about some romantic projectors’ romantic projects? Why produce new little utopias, when there already exits an endless range of various programs to successfully raise and successfully spend money holding conferences in a big way. Well, sharing experiences is a useful thing, no doubt. It is a good way to be permanently in transition.

…The poor contest finalists looked pathetically lost and out of place, hanging around at that international big event held to share the Big Residences’ big experience. Later they were called one by one and asked the same question:” What do you expect from this program?” The first question of the survey—a commonly familiar term too, isn’t it? But by that time we already had no expectations, we had understood everything. My thinking it over, maybe I should go visit those residencies and then use my scholarship to start creating the dream that took me so much pain and effort? Why, I don’t know whether my scholarship will be enough—it could be—if we added it to the money spent on those beautiful white lilies and a gourmand’s joys a la Pantagruel—those conference hosts’ hospitality sings at the price of a small programme., or perhaps even two.

…Meanwhile, I keep feeling totally in transition, And the thoughts keep wandering about and passing by. My embarrassed co-finalists keep complaining to each other—of their unhappy fortune and meekly traveling to the places they are sent to see. I’d rather they study their former Big Brother’s experience: struggle is happiness, strong when united…Well, stay tuned. Stay with us. To be continued.

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01.02.2010

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