Fritz Haeg's Domestic Integrities
American artist Fritz Haeg’s practice spans a range of disciplines and media from garden, dance and performance to design, installation, ecology and architecture. Trained as an architect, Haeg blurs the boundaries between art and architecture creating spatial works in public settings that are very much related to place and time, respectively. Haeg’s latest project, Domestic Integrities, examines how local resources are applied and used in the home setting, and how we, as individuals, make ourselves feel “at home.” Through the creation of spiral-stitched crochet rugs from discarded or reused materials, Haeg creates “charged sites for testing, performing, and presenting how we want to live.” These rugs intrinsically become active sites for discourse and discussion as much as they are sites for artistic production. Through the project, Haeg assembles practitioners, museum visitors, staff and volunteers to engage with local materials and resources such as textiles, linens, food, fruit, fresh flowers and herbs from the artist’s garden to create these beautifully intricate compositions. Here in Los Angeles, for example, where the project was most recently exhibited from March 21-24 at the Hammer Museum, the rug became an active site for community, bringing together diverse groups of people from different backgrounds all working towards a common goal and breaking bread on the physical construct of the object itself. Launched in 2012 in Europe, the project travelled from Budapest to London to Vienna, before ending with a yearlong installation at Pollinaria in Abruzzo, Italy. Domestic Integrities recently began a tour of the United States originating at Mildred’s Lane in Pennsylvania in June 2012 then traveling to the Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and onwards to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln Massachusetts (June 15-October 2013), the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (September 26-November 24, 2013), and the Berkley Art Museum in Northern California (January 2014). As these rugs travel from city to city and are worked on by local visitors and volunteers alike, they gradually expand in circumference as well as take on diverse meaning through engagement with different sites and people.
Fritz Haeg. Domestic Integrities part A03: Los Angeles, 2013. Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photos by Marianne Williams.