A PROPOS DE HA-HA

In collaboration with Micha Zweifel and Guests: Kerstin Heyen, Andreas Thierstein, Marie-Louise and Jeroen, Toon Fibbe, Francois Dey, Renata Sifrar, Haseeb Ahmed, Pernille Lonstrup, Raphael Langmair, Sarah Reichenbach, Kristin Luke, Maurits Koster, Omar Eklil, Eric Deal, Anne Eisenschmid, Jan Verwoert.

A propos de Ha-Ha was a project that took place in the summer of 2013 in Hegenheim.

À propos de Ha–Ha

A propos de Ha–Ha is an idler’s gathering in Hégenheim (Fr) installed to acknowledge the irresolvable and to befriend imperfection. Encradled in bramble’s thorn tendrils we bask in the penumbra of rural buzzing and the city’s contingency. There is a breeze through open doors, this summer camp is on street level and our roof is light permeable. This is not the sanctifying frame, the frame is broken and we don’t seek to fix it.

For two months, July and August, we are hosts to a temporary community. This is not about abstract completeness but about unstable roles, unclear responsibilities and radical hospitality. Reality is shard-shaped. An event is a threat to any community, a hole in a crackling window. We understand that hosts, guests and strangers are ambivalent concepts. They share an intricate network of reciprocal care but also of antagonisms and socio-political challenges that spread far beyond our edifice. By co-hosting and seeking dialogue we foster collaborative moments that add ornate extensions and make critical amendments to this fabric. Being here is an experiment in dwelling in the midst of those complex patterns. An erratic constellation of people, daily routines, guests arriving, leaving, meals and spontaneous improvisation materialize how we live and work together.

An event is a threat to any community. Reportedly a typical daily routine at Stowe House in circa 1730 went like this: ‘After breakfast the party spent the day walking in the garden or drove about it in cabriolets till it was time to dress for dinner. The garden had become enormous, a place it takes a whole day to explore on foot, and no clear boundary but a ha-ha separates it from the surrounding countryside.’ Introduced in the early 18th century, the ha-ha was a landscape garden feature that replaced the fence with a ditch relatively invisible from any distance.

An event is a threat to any community, because of its ability to shake up the way we relate to each other. It also is a welcome distraction, a sensory stimulus with unknown ramifications. This summer we dwell on the border between two countries’ political and emotional customs. Flirting with the redundancy of property-demarcation we wish to activate a liminal zone. Like everything else, the border, when looked upon closely starts to expand, it ceases to be an abstract thin line but instead becomes a zone of undecidability. Maybe that is where distinctions and ideas can be re-negotiated. Happenstantial significance emerges when what goes without saying is tentatively verbalized. ( ¶ ) While we are hanging out, the ice melts, waters down our beverages, the door of the abandoned tollhouse is left ajar and moths are buzzing between the tube-lights. We notice a movement from the corner of our vision and as goes for the countryside behind the Ha-Ha: where the eye went, the walker will soon follow.

Laura Wiedijk & Micha Zweifel

 

Also, the weekly program of L’heure Bleue took place there

 

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