Artist Vanessa Cardui has spent six months working with members of Hull’s homeless community and Artlink on a project that has become the exhibition, The National Archives of the Republic of the Homeless. This project will go on show at Artlink Hull from June 29th to August 29th 2019.
The Republic of the Homeless is a little-known state that coexists in parallel with every country in the world. Many of us have lived there; we keep dual citizenship for life. This Republic has a National Archives – a collection of stuff kept for posterity that is somehow about the experience of being without a home. It’s a dispersed Archives, held worldwide by individual people who have lived the experience of being homeless. The trouble with our National Archives is like most other archives everywhere – it’s disorganised, uncatalogued, and underfunded. Although some people are working hard to bring it together, nobody really knows what there is. We have begun to catalogue a particular collection within the Archives – artworks made by homeless and ex-homeless artists and makers in Hull in the 21st century. In this, we confront questions of value, authenticity, belonging, and loss, and explore how anyone’s history can get lost and buried when we fall out of normativity in some way, but even so, we preserve it, under the radar.
Funded by The Hudgell Trust and Arts Council England In partnership with the Museum of Homelessness, Westbourne House and the Hull Homeless Community Project With thanks also to Project Hotdog, and to the homeless and ex-homeless people of Hull.