living room art productions
"VBB is a unique cultural organization that brings to Houston the most diverse and progressive voices of the international writers, artists, and activists. As an exiled Iranian novelist, VBB feels like "home" to me.”
–Farnoosh Moshiri, recipient of VBB’s 2006 Vailente Award and author of four novels including The Bathhouse and Gravity.
In 2009-10, VBB's living room art productions expanded into a thematic neighborhood-based series researched and developed by VBB's Artistic Director/Founder Sehba Sarwar. The shows focus on creating parallels between struggles, joys, and cultures in cities and neighborhoods in Houston, and to connect them to similar issues in South Asia. All living room art productions are multidisciplinary and create space for spoken word artists, writers, performance artists, musicians, and speakers.
The productions first began in 2006 and were guided by then-VBB employee artist Oskar Sonnen. As the productions evolved, they have maintained several key components: the transforming of residential spaces around Houston; remaining open and free to the public; bringing together disparate neighborhoods and communities; connecting diverse populations who may not ordinarily go to galleries/museums; and tackliing social justice through art. The specific goal of the project is to uncover histories that are lost and to explore the stories and individuals that have served as catalysts to change. Additionally, thanks to support from the NEA, VBB has created and producted several interactive websites + documentaries based on past living room art productions. And in October 2013, VBB -with the help of our past Interim Executive Director Joshua Turner- launched our first publications about Women Under Siege and Homes and Histories. Copies are available for purchase here!
In 2012-14, thanks to funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Art, VBB expanded our living room art productions to create a larger project, Borderlines, that will take place over several seasons. Through the development of the project, VBB will will be working specifically in Houston's Near Northside and Gulfon/Sharpstown neighbohoods to explore parallels related to border issues between USA|Mexico and India|Pakistan|Bangladesh. Stay tuned for details!