His goal is to make galleries a more intimate experience.
A proud Canadian, Marc Hundley reinforces the stereotype of his countrymen being affable. He's the kind of artist who aspires to make his work as accessible and open to as many people as possible. That's why when CANADA Gallery gave him a booth at this year's Frieze New York, Hundley decided to recreate his 600-square-foot Williamsburg apartment. Our dwellings are intimate spaces and Hundley's interactive installation stands in stark contrast to the other pieces at Frieze. You are not walking into the interior of an artists's mind or their preoccupations here, but into Hundley's life. With his piece Home is Where I Want to Be you almost have no choice but to enter and walk around, marvelling at the works of esteemed artists like Sherrie Levine and Grandma Moses hanging on the walls. Passive viewing isn't an option.
As he put together his installation for Frieze, Hundley talked to i-D about creating a quiet, personal, extended moment in the middle of an art fair brimming with distractions.
Creating a home inside a gallery space had to be a huge undertaking! How did you come up with this large-scale idea?
CANADA Gallery asked me if I'd be interested in being in charge of a booth. I thought about it and I said yes — because that's what you're supposed to say. I love figuring out spaces, so I thought, 'Why don't I just make the space comfortable?' Because galleries are not comfortable — everything's for sale and it's not a personal experience at all. The booth they gave me is just around 600 square feet, the same size as my apartment. So I thought: Why don't I just make it like my apartment? I want people to come in and feel comfortable.
How long did it take to make the recreation?
I made everything in about a week.
What does your apartment mean to you as an artist? Do you make work there?
My inspiration usually comes to me when I am at home. I've lived there for 23 years and something about the space just enables me to work better. Relationships come and go, my brother lived with me there once — the space holds so many memories for me.
There are a lot of important works of art from today and the past hanging on the walls. How did you decide what to put inside the apartment?
I made a wishlist of artists that I would like to own and asked CANADA Gallery for those artists. A lot of the people on my wishlist were women: Sherry Levine, Karen Kilimnik, Grandma Moses — and all of them we got. And then the rest are CANADA artists and my personal friends: Kathy Bradford, Bella Foster, Josh Blackwell…
What do you hope people experience walking around such an intimate space?
I wanted it to be an antidote to the fair: comfortable. But I also wanted to sell the works of the artists that are hanging on the walls. I would love for the visitors to feel warmly towards the the works. Almost like "living with art," I guess you could say.
Text André-Naquian Wheeler
Images courtesy CANADA Gallery