_inSite/CasaGallina

The current edition of inSite embraces several significant shifts. First, past versions maintained the art world construct of an exhibition that opened and closed during a specific time frame. By contrast, inSite/Casa Gallina is conceived as a processual project that will be developed over a span of five years, from 2014 through 2018. As such, the timing and visibility of projects and programs will unfold according to their own rhythms and necessities; in turn, we envision having the flexibility and freedom to pursue unexpected possibilities suggested by projects as they evolve.

Second, unlike past inSites, where artists and their collaborators intervened in locations across a wide geographic zone, the emphasis of inSite/Casa Gallina is on a specific neighborhood, Santa María la Ribera, as a hybrid node of public life in the megalopolis of Mexico City. By establishing a physical center of operations in Santa María (the Casa in Casa Gallina), we aim to install an artistic intersection in the complex eco-political weave of the neighborhood as a platform outside the conventional art world. The house not only serves as a residence for guest artists, but also as a site to activate processes of neighborhood participation, which include an urban garden/farm, an open kitchen, meeting space for artists and their collaborators, space for technical workshops, and an open space devoted to the accumulation and sharing of knowledge produced through the realization of projects and programs. As such, inSite/Casa Gallina is imagined as an enclave generating diverse gestures that might reveal points of both stress (fragility) and malleability (transformation) in the social fabric of the neighborhood.

Project planning for inSite/Casa Gallina began in mid-2013 with the Board of Directors’ decision to support Artistic Director Osvaldo Sanchez’ project framework and begin the search for a house in Santa María. Sanchez and a small team oversaw the renovation of the house during the first nine months of 2014. At the same time, they were working off-site to refine the project framework, begin the commissioning process with initial artist residencies, engage a group of cultural anthropologists to produce a social map of the sixteen-block radius surrounding the house, and design our website. The renovation of the house, itself a project, was completed by C Cubica, a three-person Mexico City-based firm of architects.