Best of the Bay 2011: BEST "HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS"


In 2010, Bay Area performance artist and provocateur Philip Huang bucked the notion of institutionalized artistic legitimacy and challenged his friends to stage performances in their own homes. "We can legitimize ourselves," his manifesto promised, calling the welfare state of professional arts organizations a "crock of shit." One year later, the all-volunteer, thoroughly-DIY Home Theatre Festival spanned the globe, with scheduled performances on four continents. The premise is simple: without paying hundreds of dollars to a venue for overhead expenses, artists can charge $8 at the door and still walk away with some profit, while audiences get to experience an intimately staged performance without an institutional filter. Whether home theater can or should replace all professional art space is up for debate, but it's nice to be reminded that ultimately the art, not the venue, matters most.