‘Room’ service! Artist lets you stay in her teepee built from trash

‘Room’ service! Artist lets you stay in her teepee built from trash
Ten-hut! Artist Jill Sigman invites you inside “Hut #4,” one in a series of huts made out of found materials. It’s currently on view in her Bushwick studio.
Photo by Rachel Eisley

One of the strangest art spaces in Williamsburg is now available for overnight stays.

Choreographer and multi-media artist Jill Sigman has unveiled “The Hut Project,” a teepee-like abode built from strewn trash she collected around her Grattan Street studio.

For three days earlier this month, she lived in the yurt-like refuge, greeting curious visitors with mint tea and questions such as, “What is your wish for your current neighborhood?” and “Do you think this world will come to an end?”

Now she wants to share the experience with others by opening it up for reservations. All you have to do is write to her with the date of your stay and she will send you a price.

Sigman, who most recently appeared in Marina Abramovic’s performance art retrospective at MoMa, is building a series of site-specific huts made from repurposed materials that tell a story about the surrounding neighborhood.

One teepee, Hut Number 4, is primarily made out of bits of discarded plastic and cardboard tubing that Sigman found on Grattan Street, pieces of clothes she has stopped wearing, and hundreds of wormwood twigs that she collected from nearby toxic brownfield sites and rail yards on Morgan Avenue.

“The weeds that look like sticks and form the roof structure and other parts of the hut were gathered right near the studio and function as a kind of urban bamboo,” said Sigman on her blog, thinkdance.net. “They seemed to me like a ubiquitous Brooklyn weed. I remember them from my childhood. They will grow in anything and have a recognizable smell.”

She sees the hut as an “extravagant version of the emergency preparedness kit,” but also as a container that people can live in, a place “where the concepts of dwelling, structure and art object meet.”

Her goal is to use the hut as a way to engage her audience in lively conversations about the connections between art, history, culture and environmentalism. She has already hosted one community discussion, with Arts in Bushwick, about the consequences of the state’s loft law, which would add protections to tenants living in loft buildings such as the one she is inhabiting.

But allowing guests an opportunity to spend an intimate night in the hut for themselves is perhaps the high point of the performance-art piece — short of making guests build their own post-apocalyptic survival hut and sleep in it.

If you check in, there are several hut rules to follow:

• Guests must not eat in the hut and can only drink tea or water.

• No clothing or personal belongings can be stored in the hut.

• Food and “hydration drinks” can be purchased outside the hut, but no other purchases are allowed.

• During your stay, subway use outside the neighborhood is prohibited.

• All garbage must be removed — and it will be weighed so that hut guests know how much waste they produce.

Enjoy your stay!

The Hut Project [1 Grattan St. at Bogart Street in Bushwick, (347) 945-9162] offers overnight stays through Aug. 31 and “open hut days” on Sept. 18 and 19 at 2 pm and 6 pm. For reservations, e-mail thinkdance@attglobal.net. For info, visit www.thinkdance.org.

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