hub14 is closing.
HUB14 is CLOSING
All good things must come to an end.
So they say. I am more of the “Rage against the dying of the light” persuasion and as such, am grieving.
Although I have lived in many, many places, I am a compulsive mover, I feel like I am losing my home. The home I created. The W.H. Auden poem comes to mind. Hub14 was “my North, my South, my East, my West, My working week, my Sunday rest.”
Space - it seems less important to me that I have a home that conforms to traditional standards of nestedness. It seems that to have a studio to work in, a place to go and be in my body in space is important, to dance and sing and sit and write, and scream and dream. To contemplate empty or open space. To have access to the constant possibility of creating something out of nothing.
But not nothing of course.
I am in Marrakech in Morocco right now. I was just cleaning a dance floor on a rooftop terrace, like I do every day here. Washing the grit of the air and sun and rain off of it and thinking about floors and my relationship to them.
About our feet on the ground, connecting us to the earth, that I travel upon. All the feet, all over the world that walk the earth. The different ways we relate to the ground, the floor. The dancefloor that offers respite from an upright world. A new configuration of body in space from which any kind of magic might emerge from the creative body. The creative body that is my home.
So home and space. And how those relate. I find myself in a new situation, a new continent. And a collective that brings something of the hippie and something of the squatter together in a generous and amazing conflation with the Moroccan. And we find ourselves in the Medina, in the middle of the Medina. Where when I turn the corner to go round the last few bends to get to Queens Collective, the local boys loitering at the corner whisper that the square is the other way. (Well, behind you, they say, because there is no one ‘other way’. There are so many.) And I smile slyly under my ball cap through my mirrored shades with my scarf draped over me and my purchases and say “I’m not going to the square.”
I'm going to the place I get to call home for almost two months. This dance floor, built on a platform elevated from the rest of the rooftop and shaded from the sun. This space that I get to call mine for the next while. There are chickens adjacent to the dance floor that I am so enamoured of. As in, there is a corner cut out of the stage to allow for a coop to be built. This is Marrakech.
The magic of the possible.
I am thinking about other dance-space-homes.
hub14. That magical space we created in Toronto starting in 2004. Despite personal and artistic differences we grew hub14 from an Artist Run Co-op to a not-for-profit to a charitable organization. We built a floor from scratch. We painted, re-wired, renovated. I have some experience in this. I managed Dovehouse Ballroom when it first came into the dance community. I arranged for painters and for curtains and cabinets to be made. Then after that, when for a brief time we acquired Creative Group at 720 King St. West, we installed dance floors that had been acquired through a cost splitting initiative between a film company who made them for a dance film shoot, the scenic design company who made them, and us, who would then own them afterwards. We converted 10,000 square feet of disused bra factory into a creative space with many large spaces and two dance floors and and made all sort of magic and art there.
When that ended after a year, I realized that in the 5 years that I had lived in Toronto I always had studio space available to me. It became clear that it is essential for me to have studio space. With three others we searched around for a few months until we found the small room that became hub14. That was in December of 2004. There was a retrospect held for the 10th anniversary. In 2013, the current leadership team, which was the 2nd, and the end of my eight and a half year co-reign, handed it over to a new group to helm. Now, so sadly at the end of it’s 14th year, fittingly I suppose, it will close.
hub14 for 14 years.
In the many years that I spent in Toronto, I moved a lot. Like 27 times in 14.5 years. And that included several 2 year stints in one place. I just like to change it up. (It suits me well that I am now on a nomadic circuit with an annual, biannual and surprise locations rotation, ongoing). But, when I gave up hub, that is when I felt homeless, anchorless, ungrounded.
In the years since 2013 I have had numerous residencies in many different countries. Access to studio space, this open space with a sprung floor, offers unlimited opportunity to imagine, to be in ones body, move around, conceive of new ideas and concepts, hear oneself think, please no one, find out who and how one is. A room filled with ones belongings and a good bed is essential too, but without the other, I get funny, out of sorts, unable to access my full self.
Sometimes these residencies are to make something specific, but sometimes it is just to have space, to meet oneself. And others.
Some of the Residencies I’ve been to:
Banff Centre, Banff Canada
Earthdance, western Mass. USA
Ponderosa, Stolzenhagen Germany
Queens Collective, Marrakech Morocco
International Woman’s Foundation , Building 98, Marfa, Texas, USA
Blipbase, Laddendorf Austria
fabrik Potsdam, Postdam, Germany
I have a feeling that hub14 will find a new home. I am hopeful.
In the meantime, farewell 14 Markham.