performing the home

Note: This exhibit closed on August 31, 2016

Curator and artist Christina Balch recreates the gallery as a surreal home and invites the public to experience and interact with performances of the home. Artists in this experimental and experiential exhibit address issues of relationships, organization, politics, and longing in the contemporary home via dance, performance, sound, video, digital media and interactivity. 

Gallery visitors turned house guests will have the rare opportunity to be voyeurs of the intimate workings of home performances. Relating objects and bodies in the home, Dance group Excavate, Rebecca Henriksen, and Molly Hess explore the physicality of the home space in their respective performances. In Fine China, Andrea Zampitelli balances strength and vulnerability in the home. and Jamezie challenges gender expectations of self-grooming by performing the intimate act of hair removal. 

The public is invited to experience Performing the Home during four performance events or during quieter, more reflective gallery hours. Most performances will have remnants for viewing afterwards and can be viewed on a mobile device within the gallery. Interacting with the art and exploring the gallery are encouraged. 

Come back to this website to experience the show online, and watch the performances after they have been performed.



Christina Balch is an artist and interactive producer interested in the way people define themselves through imagery, especially through the use of mobile technology and self-documentation. Feminism and technology are common themes in her work. Christina has been mulling over this site-specific exhibit at the Nave Gallery Annex for a couple years now. It's exciting to see it take shape! She lives and works in Somerville, MA. Learn more about Christina Balch on her website


About the artwork


Semiotics of the Bathroom
Performance by Jamezie in the Bathroom
August 18, 2016

Bathrooms act as both a private and public space through which people curate the body they present to the world in order to fulfill, in the binary sense, femininity or masculinity. As a transgender artist, Jamezie uses the body as an important and necessary tool in exploring the social metaphysics surrounding our concepts of gender, sex, and sexuality.

Does It Bring You Joy?*
Performance by Excavate in the Storage Room
with Sharon Kivenko, Bess Paupeck, and Alli Ross
August 18, 2016

Excavate, a site-based artist collective, is interested in the meeting of location, place and body and the stories that emerge from the meeting of these two landscapes. Does it bring you Joy? is inspired by our never-ending desire to control our environment, the keeping of home and how we organize and/or live in clutter. 


A Bird of a Different Feather*
Performance by Molly Hess in the Front Yard
August 20, 2016

Molly's performances are rooted in dance but embrace interdisciplinary elements. This performance explores the little things that help us get through long day, weeks and years of our lives.


Untitled (Paper Bags)
Performance by Rebecca Henriksen in the Bedroom
August 20, 2016

Henriksen explores notions of remnant, ephemerality, memory, the body, and materiality in her work. Drawing on personal memories of love and pain as well as textual sources, she creates work at the intersection of embodiment, identity, and endurance.  Henriksen's childish solution to home organization maintains both a certain impractical simplicity as well as embodies a feminist mantra of ‘taking up space.’


Bedtime Stories*
Performance by Emily Manning-Mingle in the Bedroom
August 28, 2016

Reading to children before bed is a loving and nurturing routine that has been recreated for Performing the Home. During the performance, guests will be invited to read one of their favorite bedtime stories to the audience. Similar to an open-mic night, guests can sign up on a clipboard ahead of time at the gallery or send an email with your preferred time to performingthehome2016@gmail.com.


Fine China
Performance by Andrea Zampitella
August 28, 2016

In Fine China, Zampitella pulls together the industrial and domestic as well as the relationship of strong and delicate. The piece pushes our notion about the connotation of certain materials, in this case,porcelain, and how we associate it with fragility and weakness. I challenge the viewer to question the dichotomy of feminine and masculine, strong and weak, possible and impossible.


A Dinner Party*
Performance by Christina Balch
August 31, 2016

Not to be confused with THE Dinner Party, this will be a casual affair. Artist and curator of Performing the Home invites guests to join her for a good-bye dinner party on the last night in her home at the Nave Gallery Annex. This dinner party will be talked about on Twitter so have your phones out and get ready to hashtag #PerformingtheHome


*Performances with an asterisk are interactive


objects, sound, video, digital

Bathroom Sink
Drawing by Christina Balch


En la tierra del mañana (clock) with Greg Butera, 2015
Sound by Erik Benjamins

Almost-on-time timekeeper of pedal steel guitar musical phrases.


Home Visualization
Data Visualization by Kristina Durr & Kyle P. Feeley

A data visualization project about tweets related to the home.


Water in the Home*
Interactive Installation by J.J. L'Heureux

California is in a drought. Massachusetts in a drought. How do you save water in your home? Each person is responsible for his or her water consumption. There are unintended consequences for our world, its continents, and the people and animals that live on our earth. Perhaps a statement with a picture speaks a thousand words.


One Thing Leads to Another and Broken Dishes
Two Collages by Emily Manning-Mingle


Consumed Affirmations*
Interactive Work by Brooke Scibelli

Consumed Affirmations is a collection of phrases found on consumer products, and re-printed on rolls of toilet paper. Collected mostly from food products, the phrases found on tea bag labels, fortune cookies, bottle caps, chocolate wrappers, fortune-telling cards, and magic 8 balls reveal humorous and often mis-leading fortunes.


Three Collage Houses by Patty Simon

This series of collages is about the idea of home and homelessness. Patty aims to the raise awareness as well as sell this work to raise money for Syrians who have lost their homes. All proceeds benefit Syrian refugees.


5,382 Days in Exile
Video/Audio by Gabriel Sosa

5,382 days in exile/5,382 días de ausencia combines an episode of ¿Qué Pasa, USA?, a sitcom produced in Miami, Florida in the late 1970s, with a sound recording of the artist's voice reading a letter that his grandfather sent from Miami to his sister in Havana, dated June 11, 1979.


Everything is Fine and Dandy
Andrea Zampitella

In Everything is fine and dandy a woman is trapped inside of an old fashioned television. While she is adorned in pearls and sports high heels she is obviously contorted, uncomfortable and constrained. She attempts to smile and make light of the situation, adjusting her dress to not reveal herself and fixing her hair, as she tries to free herself from the impossible situation she finds herself in.


*Artworks with an asterisk are interactive