_place _plateau

An Installation by Caitlin Horsmon

March 21st from 4-7pm


_place _plateau

Being invited to do a show at the Hown’s Den provided me with the opportunity to think about the situation of its exhibition – the places we live. Houses both as architectural forms and lived experiences are texts themselves – in most cases standing longer than the lifespan of any single occupant and having histories written on/in them by both their inhabitants and communities. Exhibiting at the Hown’s Den was an opportunity both to reflect on my own history of habitation and to investigate the histories of the neighborhood in which the exhibition was taking place – to reach out and come to some understanding of this place -Troost Plateau/5624 Lydia St./Crystal, Bobby and Eliot’s house – and to
incorporate what I learned into a series of site-specific projections that investigate history, memory and place. It was fortuitous that this work took place in a neighborhood with such an activist history of organizing to resist destructive housing campaigns and the resulting racial division created along Troost Avenue. The 49/63 Neighborhood Coalition whose work is highlighted in some of the conversations presented in the exhibit has been unusually successful in fending
off predatory real estate investors and creating and valuing a diverse neighborhood by taking their neighborhood into their own hands. Its mission was to “create a nonexploitive real estate market”1 and to sustain a multiracial neighborhood where people, regardless of race or color, can find satisfying conditions.” I wanted to meet the people who were continuing those efforts in the neighborhood and find out how they thought about this place where they live. I condensed my interviews and impressions into a loose script of conversations and activities that might have happened in the very space where we stand today.  While looking at the historical materials narratives emerged – the children in the 1940s tax survey photos for example become the characters in game projection, and names of residents of the neighborhood become the names of the characters in the script. It’s all coincidence, observation and projection. The thing about local, small close histories (which is of course in some sense what all histories are) is that they’re extremely fragile and evaporate easily. By interviewing and working with members of the neighborhood coalition, Crystal and Bobby’s landlord, longtime residents, materials from the state archive and my own history I’ve created an imaginary history for this house rendered with video and sound and adding objects to the domestic space as anchors around which the events unfold. I wanted to create portals – windows into the possible worlds and histories of this place. Houses hold memories – what these are and how we remember them are variable and impacted by storytelling, documentation and time. For example this house was built the same year that Walt Disney founded Laugh-O-Gram in Kansas City – the same year that King Tut’s Tomb was discovered and women won the right to vote.

1 Colby, Tanner. Some of My Best Friends Are Black. New York, Penguin Books,


With _place _plateau I hope to create glimpses into manufactured memories –mapping new half-truths onto the architecture of the house itself to create an animated landscape merging the past with the present, fiction with fact to think about our understanding of place and its relationship to experience, community and connection.

Caitlin is an artist, teacher and curator based in Kansas City Missouri. Her experimental and non-fiction media work focuses on questions of visual history, gender and absence investigating the imaginary of the everyday to recuperate passed over histories and address the politics of knowledge.Her work has been exhibited around the world in wildly diverse venues from micro cinemas to the Centre Pompidou and her film Themes & Variations for the Naked Eye was selected as one of the 50 best avant-garde films & videos of the 2000’s by Nicole Brenez. She has received numerous awards and grants including a Rocket Grant form the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art. One of five artists who make up the curatorial collaboration Plug Projects located in the stockyards district of Kansas City, Caitlin has been involved in film programming for over a decade. She was the educational outreach coordinator for the Chicago International Film Festival, Director of the Thaw Festival in Iowa City and now curates the FPS film and video series at Plug. Caitlin is Associate Professor of Film & Media Arts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Faculty. Her work is distributed by The Collectif Jeune Cinéma.caitlinhorsmon.com



An Installation by Amy Kligman

Saturday, January 31st 4-7 pm

Interruptions is an exhibition that creates moments of disruption in the domestic living/exhibition space of the Hown’s Den. This selection of work is a study in futility, distraction, and the cultural and social connotations of the objects that we live with. .The collection of paintings and objects mimic domestic materials and things but divorce them of their use, acting as unfamiliar substitutes for the familiar. The pieces are integrated fully into the environment of a living room, dining room, kitchen, or bathroom, and are treated as part of their domestic surroundings.

Amy Kligman is currently based in Kansas City, MO. She shares a studio and a home with painter Misha Kligman, two cats, a boxer named Hanna, and her son, Sam.  She has been published in New American Paintings, exhibits nationally, and is one of five collaborators that operate Plug Projects, an artist run exhibition space.


Alt. Lecture 10

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The Hown’s Den is excited to host Alt. Lecture 10 this Tuesday.

Tuesday November 17th from 7-9

Alt. Lecture KC pairs a local aesthetic producer with someone from outside the city in order to cultivate creative conversation across state lines.

Info about the presenters:
Eunice Yoon-Seon Choi is a Boston-based interdisciplinary artist who practices in drawing, painting, and sculpture. Choi received her MFA in Studio Art from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/ Tufts University. Choi has received a number of awards including Artist-in-Residence awards at Prairie Center of the Arts (IL), Vermont Studio Center (VT), Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts (NE), PLAYA (OR), and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. She was featured as an emerging artist in the Boston Sunday Globe and has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Dan ‘Danny’ Orendorff s a curator, writer, and activist currently working as the Curator-in-Residence and Interim Director of Artistic Programs for The Charlotte Street Foundation in Kansas City, MO. He has previously curated large-scale group exhibitions and composed exhibition texts for a range of international contemporary arts venues, including The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, threewalls, Grand Arts, the Chicago Cultural Center, and SFCamerawork. He has been a contributing critic to Bad at Sports and Art in America, and has taught in the liberal and fine arts departments of KCAI, UMKC, University of Illinois – Chicago, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Much of Orendorff’s work and research focuses on issues of non-normativity, queerness, feminism, and DIY or craft-oriented cultural production.


Christopher Willey & Tonia Klein at The Hown’s Den

Please join us on October 23rd from 6-9pm for an installation and artist talk by Milwaukee based artist Christopher Willey and Tonia Klein.



Christopher Willey is an interdisciplinary artist and instructor in Milwaukee, WI.  His research moves between traditional and new genres.  Willey focuses on digital studio practices while mixing in traditional methods.  He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and is a curator and author.  His most recent solo exhibit was at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Interlochen, MI.  Willey received his BFA from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute.


Tonia Klein received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Painting from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design in 2007. Klein had her first solo international exhibition “Recurrance” at Flash Atølye, in Izmir, Turkey in January, 2013.  She received a Mary L Nohl Travel Suitcase Grant for this exhibition.  Klein has also had several national exhibitions.

Our work is influenced by travel, fairy tales, and world mythology.   We use these as a basis for sharing experiences.  The images we create contain metaphors which relate to archetypes from fairy tales.  The animals and cultural patterns create unexpected new narratives.