An initiative of the Menil Collection with cultural, educational, and social justice organizations in the Greater Houston area.
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Voices Breaking Boundaries: Close Together

Dec 4
8:43 pm
By Menil

This Saturday, December 6, from 4–7 pm, Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) will produce Close Together in the apartment home of Mercedes Herrera, a Gulfton resident for more than 20 years. Close Together is the first time VBB has produced living room art in an apartment, expanding the definition and capacity for what living room art is and can be.

Since artists Sehba Sarwar and Oskar Sonnen introduced the living room art structure in 2007, VBB has transformed over 10 homes in more than 7 different Houston communities, with each one-night production absorbing the flavor of the residents and their neighborhoods. This site-based structure stemmed out of the desire to create a space where cultures, conversation, people, and art can come together into a mosaic, wherein each piece stands alone while simultaneously strengthening the whole, and where artists from Houston, Tijuana, Toronto, Lahore, Kashmir, and Kabul (to name a few) can share voices which speak for themselves, but also to each other.

And as VBB embarks upon our 15th year, Close Together illustrates the way a spark, ignited 8 years ago by Sehba and Oskar, has smoldered into a wildfire that continues to burn today, crossing borders and breaking boundaries to make room for the roots of what was, and the exciting potential of what is yet to come.

On December 6, from 4–7 pm, come to Apartment 69 at 6231 Westward and be a part of the experience. The evening includes photo and video installations by Gidree Bawlee, Sadya Mizan, and Tanvir Murad Topu, Bangladesh; Francisco-Fernando Granados, Canada; Moonis Shah, India; Polen, Mexico; Farrukh Adnan, Nadja Khwaja, Mohsin Shafi, and Sophia Mairai, Pakistan; and Jimmy Castillo, US. Punctuating the dynamic array of art are original performances by Houston artists Diana Barrera, Charisse Weston and Monica Villarreal, with music by DJ MSK, Herrera’s 16-year old son. Organizations like Fe y Justicia Workers Center, Baker Ripley Center, and South Texas Human Rights Center will be on hand to talk about the work they do for displaced individuals both in Houston and on the border, and all of it will be free and open to the public.

Artwork by Sadya Mizan + Tanvir Murad Topu