“If you lived here you’d be home by now”, Oakland, 2008, Eric Araujo

The House Project, interdisciplinary artist Eric Araujo’s sculptural exploration of the relationship between artists and the disenfranchised members of society, began in 2005 while the artist was living in San Francisco. Now Araujo offers an extension of this thoroughly explored idea: a public installation project titled Hole Up, in which the sculptor builds small-scale houses that are inserted in urban areas with a significant homeless population. The miniature homes can accommodate a person seeking shelter and are there for that very purpose.

Araujo, now officially a New York artist, has placed his tiny shelters in several U.S. cities, with each home reflecting the architecture of middleclass homes within each host city. The houses are not only functional in terms of providing refuge, but a reflection of a world which cannot accommodate the people in it and a government incompetent at keeping its citizens employed or providing dignified housing for the lower classes. The exhibition, the artist created two houses, with the intention of eventually installing them in a public space.

Araujo’s modest structures are mostly constructed out of salvaged materials and are not designed to be permanent or endure long-term exposure to the elements. They almost serve as metaphors for the dreams of the inhabitant, those which rarely come true due to the harshness of the surrounding world. They provide a temporary illusion of stability, which is what the structural design of a home symbolizes. An overview of Hole Up is currently being exhibited by Gowanus’ Littlefield performance and art space.