Many towns and cities across the world have the odd abandoned house or dilapidated property, gnawed away by the elements and slowly succumbing to decay. In York, Alabama, one such property has been the focus of an artistic intervention by Matthew Mazzotta in partnership with the townspeople and The Coleman Center for the Arts.
Brought on board by The Coleman Center for the Arts in early 2011 to create a piece for the town, Mazzotta invited the residents of York to come together in a street bringing an object from their living room. The idea was to create a comfortable space in the open by recreating a sitting room, enabling the community to freely discuss their ideas for the artwork in an informal setting.
The resulting installation is Open House, an unfolding structure which uses elements of an old abandoned house to create an open-air theatre for residents to use free of charge. Mazzotta has reused the original structure coupled with railroad ties for the foundation, anchoring the custom fabricated industrial hinges to five rows of stadium seating.
In an hour and a half, four people can slowly unfold the bright pink house into an open air theatre capable of seating one hundred people. Open House is located on the footprint of the original structure, reminding those who pass by and those who use it of the building’s history and the importance of reuse.
The scheme was opened in June 2013 by the Mayor of York, Gena Robbins and has since hosted a number of free events including screenings of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, Men in Black 3 and Madagascar 3. Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger is due to be screened on 7 September at 7.30pm.