***** Dear supporters and backers,
We have reached our goal on Kickstarter and thanks to you we have raised £5000 in just over a couple of weeks! We are incredibly grateful, this space is nothing without all of you collaborators and visitors and it is heart-warming to see how much support we are getting.
We still have until 25th Of October left and if we are unable to negotiate a fair rent with our landlord we could face legal fees of up to £20,000 so we still need all the financial support to give us the best possible chance to secure a future for the building!
So please keep spreading the word - there are still amazing rewards to snatch! *****
A building is nothing until it is given life, and it's how people interact with that building and how that building influences their behaviour and their mood and helps to shape their future, and build a better society, that should be a building's function.
James Burton built the Horse Hospital in 1797 as an infirmary for the care of working horses in the community. Abandoned for many years, we repurposed the building in 1992 into an exhibition space for displaced artists, in keeping with Burton’s ethos for caring.
Since its inception the Horse Hospital has helped shape the careers of over 5,000 artists by giving them a platform to exhibit and celebrate their work. This would not have been possible without the invaluable support and patronage of some 125,000 visitors from all over the world. In 2005 English Heritage protected the building from re-development by listing it Grade 2, and in 2015 it was further awarded Community Asset status by Camden Council.
As keepers of culture in a high maintenance building the last 25 years have often been a struggle, and our future has looked uncertain, not helped by pressure from the landlords to forfeit our lease, as the building in their words ‘is financially under-performing’.
Now once again the very real threat of closure looms as the owners have decided to terminate our current lease on December 31st 2019 and are proposing an unrealistic 333% rent rise if we want to stay. We have until the end of this year for our lawyers to negotiate a new agreement and fair rent with them. Failure will mean asking the courts to decide, or closing down. Either way we face huge legal bills and a steep rise in rent if we intend to stay. So now more than ever we need your financial support.
If you value our ethos and the way we have celebrated the counter-cultural and championed the outsider, the unfashionable, the other, over the years, please give generously to our campaign to help us to complete our programme of exhibitions up till the end of the year and to secure the buildings future.
Nothing makes me happier than when the amazing Horse Hospital gets some love. It deserves all the support and recognition for being not only a home for misfits, but a historical queer space, a profoundly ethical space and a spiritual space.
Tai Shani – Artist and Turner Prize nominee 2019
With Brexit hanging like a lead weight above the city’s new forest of glass towers the memory of the Horse Hospital’s stone floor feels grounding
Stuart Comer – Chief Curator, MOMA, New York
Genuinely inclusive, accessible, and welcoming both artistically and socially, the Horse Hospital has not only maintained a space for what might still be called the counter-culture in an ever more formalised and even corporate arts environment; it has nurtured and grown several generations, favouring the hybrid and the unclassifiable, the risk-takers and visionaries. The central stream of any culture relies on those edge dwellers for its constant renewal. With pressures on funding, public performance spaces and the time it takes to make invigorating work, the Horse Hospital is an oasis of opportunity in a city that, while vibrantly creative, remains genuinely challenging for those without significant finance behind them.
Gareth Evans – Film Curator, Whitechapel Gallery
Our Upcoming Programme:
The Gutter Art of Stephen Varble: Genderqueer Performance Art in the 1970s, photographs by Greg Day | 26 Oct – 16 Nov 2019
In costumes made from street trash, food waste, and stolen objects, Stephen Varble took to the streets of 1970s New York City to perform his “Gutter Art.” With disruption as his aim, he led uninvited costumed tours through the galleries of SoHo, occupied Fifth Avenue gutters, and burst into banks and boutiques in his gender-confounding ensembles.
Curated by David J. Getsy, Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition brings to light the work of performance artist Stephen Varble (1946–1984) with a focus on the collaboration with the photographer Greg Day (b.1944).
The exhibition will explore the ways in which Varble’s disruptive guerilla performance art has lived on primarily through vibrant photographs that captured his inventive costumes, transformed trash, and public confrontations.
Jenkin Van Zyl: Oblivion Industry | 19 – 20 Oct 2019
The Horse Hospital is happy to present a new site-specific film commission by Jenkin van Zyl developed over the period of a residency at The Horse Hospital and utilising selected items from The Contemporary Wardrobe Collection.
OBLIVION INDUSTRY is an immersive installation comprised of a surround-sound film shown across three curved-screens coiled around the pillars of the exhibition space in a labyrinthine loop. The film works through genres of cinematic violence interrogating signs and symbols of power and social mythologies whilst responding to The Horse Hospital’s twenty-five year history of counter-cultural artistic activities, its equestrian history and cavernous architecture.
Nocturnal Dream Show: Luminous Procuress | 16th of Nov 2019
A one-night only staging of a 'Nocturnal Dream Show' - Steven Arnold's infamous weekly midnight movie showcases held at San Francisco's 'Chinese Movie Theatre' in the 1970s which helped launch San Francisco's 'hippie acid freak drag queen troupe' The Cockettes into fame, the evening's bill includes a screening of Steven Arnold's only film, 'Luminous Procuress', a selection of underground shorts from The Horse Hospital's archives and impromptu performances from special guests in a fantastical theatrical setting. A truly one-of-a-kind theatre-film extravaganza.
"An elusive example of early seventies mystical queer cinema, known mainly through bootlegged VHS copies and battered prints."
Pledge £5 or more to receive a Vive Le Punk thank you card from the Horse Hospital.
Pledge £10 or more to receive a Horse Hospital pin badge.
Pledge £15 or more to receive the HH supporter bundle: History of the Horse Hospital booklet + Horse Hospital pin badge + Vive Le Punk postcard set.
Pledge £18 or more and receive Tai Shani's special Horse Hospital Preservation Society edition of her new book Our Fatal Magic published by Strange Attractor Press this September. (5 copies available)
Pledge £20 or more and receive a ticket to our special 'Nocturnal Dream Show' featuring a screening of Steven Arnold's Luminious Procuress (1971) on 16th of Nov 2019 (Limited to 60).
Pledge £25 or more and receive a 'Generic Queens' Rosettes by Jenkin Van Zyl (edition of 20).
Pledge £30 or more and receive a signed edition of Rebel Threads: Clothing of the bad, beautiful and misunderstood by Horse Hospital founder Roger K Burton.
Pledge £35 or more receive one of 10 rare Stephen Varble exhibition catalogs from 'An Antidote to Nature's Ruin on this Heavenly Globe, Prints and Video of the Early 1980s' (Stephen Varble’s only exhibition catalogs) featuring a substantial essay by the exhibition’s curator, David J Getsy.
Pledge £80 or more and receive an invitation to a private and exclusive tour of the Contemporary Wardrobe Collection for up to 4 persons of the treasures and delights of Europes largest collection of post-war street fashion - guided by it's founder Roger K Burton.
Pledge £120 or more receive a print of Stephen Varble in the Elizabethan Farthingale, October 1975. Digital print, 2018 by Greg Day (edition of 15, 5" x 7" digital print).
Pledge £250 or more and receive a limited edition Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore Poster byTurner-Prize winning artist Mark Leckey (A0, Framed & Signed)
* All rewards include a Horse Hospital pin badge.
Risks and challenges
We have until the end of this year for our lawyers to negotiate a new agreement and fair rent with our landlords, failure will mean asking the courts to decide, or closing down.
We are currently faced with huge legal bills and a steep rise in rent if we intend to stay. This leaves us with no funds with which to realise our programme of exhibitions up till the end of the year. The amount raised up to our funding goal will support our programme till the end of the lease. All funds raised above that amount will go towards our legal bills which could be more than £20,000.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!