This House is a film that blends documentary and fiction to explore the inimitable in-home installation work of Jackie Seiden, a Chicago-based artist and educator. It is a collaboration between 23-year-old Daniel Hymanson and his childhood teacher 75-year-old Jackie Seiden.
THIS HOUSE: a collaborative film project about a dreamy place, memories of childhood, and a union of fantasy and hard truth.
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. 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.
This film will present for the viewer the otherworldly experience of exploring the rooms in Jackie’s house. Like our always-changing classroom 18 years ago, every room in Jackie’s house transports those who enter it into an impossible and magical place. The project will be a fusion of fiction and documentary film--a reflection of the hazy distinction between fantasy and reality within these spaces.
For nearly my whole life, I’ve been able to explore Jackie Seiden’s home. With this movie, I hope to give more people this opportunity. Her work affects all visitors, uniting everyone under the universal experience of childhood. In addition, the house serves as a testament to the irreplaceable outcome of total artistic commitment.
Most importantly, this film is a tribute to an incredible teacher who means so much to countless students.
I first attempted to make a film with Jackie about her house early in high school. At the time, I didn’t know enough about film as a medium or understand the space well enough to capture what makes the house so special. I finished the project but never showed it to anyone.
In order to give Jackie’s work the respect it deserves, this project requires equipment that can capture the beauty of her installations. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to equipment and that is why I have launched a fundraising campaign onKickstarter. We have 35 days to raise $5,000. Every little bit really counts and any support would mean so much to me.