When Daniel Hymanson approached me to support “This House,” a documentary of a living installation project in 75-year-old Jackie Seiden’s Chicago home, I was intrigued but wary. Documentaries of artists (particularly older artists) often have the, sometimes unfair, stench of exploitation. However, upon further review, it became clear that this was a story of lifelong creation, a mentor, a kinship and a friend. Jackie and Daniel met when Daniel was only four years old, while Jackie was teaching at SAIC, where she inspired in Daniel for love of creation and building. Daniel went on to study film while Jackie developed an incredible, mutable home, with a different installation in each room. Straddling the line between pastels and coffins, Jackie’s unique perception of the world is wholly countered by Daniel’s incredibly charming devotion towards memorializing a teacher who inspired his love of narrative. I hope you’ll take the time to look not only at the project but the beautiful story that started it, and help support.
(Left: Daniel and Jackie)
Jackie Seiden and her husband Don Seiden live in a large pink and yellow house in Rogers Park, on the north side of Chicago. Each room in the house is a distinct installation–a world of painstakingly found and placed objects. Ever since Jackie moved into the house 30 years ago, these installations have been constantly evolving. They are deeply personal and generally explore subjects relating to Jackie’s own childhood.
When I was four years old, my mom enrolled me in Jackie’s children’s art class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (that’s me on the left and jackie in the middle in the picture below). Every week Jackie would guide us as we completely transformed the classroom and traveled to impossible places. Once, we used huge sheets of crunched up brown paper to change the classroom into a prehistoric cave and made cave paintings. Another week, with chairs, a slide projector, echoing chugging sound effects, and a sheet, the classroom became a train and Jackie took us on a tour of India. Ever since that class, Jackie has been a friend and huge inspiration to me. (READ MORE.)