April 2017

Home Soil experiences are of the people, for the people. Through collaboration and participation, Home Soil offers common ground upon which the experience of citizenship, homeland, (for the moment) no longer matters. The body is one’s home. And since utopia is a faulty design, a non-destination, we create situations where everyday subjective reality shifts. We understand the world is made up of borders; but we insist on crossing those borders: encounters that create paths you might not have taken/have been able to take.  In order to confront nationalistic tendencies we examine tensions within one’s body, one’s body in relation to others, one’s body in relation to others in spaces/sites. We live in a world where witnessing inequities is an everyday experience, live or virtual. Our work responds to this. You can do something in the present, here and now. You can experience other realities, modes of thinking, or ways of doing, so that being in the world is being in support of others.

To extend ourselves outside the art world and to position our work within different platforms, we arrange and structure projects—performances as public intervention, archives as activism, and workshops as event—in order to access as many publics as possible.

February 2015
Home Soil is a contemporary performance collective interested in staging site-specific performance art in theatre, gallery, and club spaces, and mounting public interventions addressing identity politics and human rights issues. Home Soil’s mission is to unify artistic experiences with civic participation by creating socially engaged international collaborations.

February 2013
Missions should change daily. Each new experience directs us to a different place where we might not have expected to go. In that period of time, we change. 

February 2012
Home Soil creates work
connecting the artistic process to the transformation of one’s self,
redefining the meaning of space,
engaging a co-creative audience,
believing that performance generates action.

<홈 소일>은
개인의 자아의 발전과 예술적 과정을 접목시키며
공간의 의미를 재정립하고
창조의 동역자로서 관객을 참여시키며
공연은 행동을 낳는다는 것을 믿으며
작품을 창작한다.

October 2011
Our first mission was to produce theatre by:
devising new plays that reflect and serve a diverse society in order to reclaim a sense of artistic purpose, providing entertainment that explores the mystery in ‘the Other’, enforcing the philosophy that theatre as entertainment can be personally transformative, rather than purely a means for voyeurism, promoting theatre as an engaging event where audience members can be passionate about art by defying assumptions of theatre, and 
communicating our perspective of an emerging generation that is divided between honoring tradition and adjusting to the challenges in a globalised society. 

Co-founded in February 2010 by Zoya Sardashti & Ryan M. McKelvey, Home Soil created original work in Seoul until September 2013. We operate internationally and devise pieces that resonate with diverse communities. Our goal is to encourage transformation, invite exchange, and empower individuals. Whether East or West, Home Soil builds a community.

2010년 조야 사다시티와 라이언 맥캘비가 공동 창단한 <홈 소일>은 서울에서 활동하고 있는 창작극 극단이다. 아시아와 미국 출신의 단원들로 이루어진 우리 극단은 국제적인 활동을 펼치며, 다양한 커뮤니티의 문제를 다루는 작품들을 창작하고 있다. 우리의 목표는 변형을 도모하고, 상호 교환의 장을 만들며, 개개인을 세우는 것이다. <홈 소일>은 동서양을 막론한 공동체를 세워가고 있다.

Formulations of Assembly, Workshop-as-Event

How can strangers act together when we live in worlds in which so many forms of solidarity are diminishing? In Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly Judith Butler writes that assembly “can be an embodied form of calling into question the inchoate and powerful dimensions of reigning notions of the political”. The act of assembling in a square, theatre, or park can manifest the understanding that a situation is shared, but this shared situation has limitations, especially, in a world where shootings and surveillance destabilise the power in demonstrating one’s voice with others or alone. This project is in direct dialogue with Butler’s text, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly.

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Formulations of Assembly is a response to a fear: in any event our lives are subject to precarity and violence. Through movement and speech acts, we demonstrate vulnerability in a world where being subject to violence and/or witnessing violence is an everyday reality. Participants are guided through a series of exercises, or non-repressive actions to sustain bodily awareness. They are invited to move and speak together to experience the limitations of being in solidarity as a way to embody impossibilities. These explorations serve as a point of departure for discovering movements that exist between two states being, such as being together and separate. In a safe and inclusive space, strangers can express collective fears and hopes through movement and dialogue, in order to generate new forms of alliance and possibilities for assembly.

The event is a workshop, a hybrid form of community engagement, inspiring nonviolent realities that enact new ways of being culturally, socially and politically conscious. Interweaving methodologies as social practice in art contexts, it seeks to move away from performing choreography associated with iconic events that are also replicated during political demonstrations. Through practice-based research and performance making methodologies the parameters of Formulations of Assembly use intimacy, proximity, and polemics against delimitation of the body. The aesthetics of human interaction and collaboration not on spectatorship, but on participation is explored through integrating elements of autoethnography, urbanism, movement analysis, somatic practice, and performative writing. Collaboration is a process to better understand the subjective perspective of others. It is participatory and discursive. It is convivial and sensual. Inclusivity enacts the desire for a “we” that is multi-centered, embodied and performative. The notion of “we, the people”, changes each and every time we collaborate. During this exchange knowledge is produced in the space between people. The result is a situation where performative utterances and bodily actions collapse distance that is often experienced in relational, conceptual and performance art.

On November 24th, 2018 Formulations of Assembly, concluded with a performative party facilitated by Zoya Sardashti, Margherita Landi, and Silvio Palladino at Mare Culturale Urbano.

We invited strangers into the theatre to taste a handcrafted drink and guess its contents. Then they were asked to share it with a stranger. Participants were invited to choose their favorite article of the constitution and read it with a microphone. Documentation from previous workshops were exhibited. Participants were given an opportunity to write and draw their notion of how assembly should be visualized on signs. Excerpts of Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly were read out loud as funk, jazz and hip-hop played in the background. We encouraged everyone to dance even if they felt shy. At the end someone sang a love song.

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Photography and video by Silvio Palladino, illustrations by Ladan Tofighi, and music by DJ Shirman.

Waking Up Iranian American

five one-to-one performances, a dance and performance lecture by Zoya Sardashti

Waking Up Iranian American is an autoethnographic work and series of performative interventions focused on the ways cultural exchange develops between a performer and a participant. These performances create a space where people are invited to participate in discussions and actions about being between cultures, nationalism and Islamophobia, so that we might move beyond antiquated notions of free and oppressed. In this sense, the dialogical framework of the performances is a form of collaboration and, in its broadest sense, a key to changing power relationships between performers and participants. In Waking Up Iranian American, intimacy is used as a strategy to counteract the positioning cultures of fear intend to create.

This Story Doesn’t Begin With Me 

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What if you could get to know a stranger by asking a question that elicits desire as a mode of self identification rather than a definition of location or ethnicity? Since our identities are subjected to trauma and systematic violence that nation-state projects through categorization, This Story Doesn’t Begin With Me, invites participants to consider what they long for or where they belong when introducing themselves. Through this exchange we will attempt to discover a more precise and relevant vocabulary, specific to our new relationship.

To Be Seen & Unseen 

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What if you could be in the world without directly receiving the gaze of others? Through various modes of theatricality the performance confronts ideas of exposure, empowerment and in/visibility. You will be invited to take a journey with a performer. You will be invited to wear a costume, a traveler’s garment and a mask. Similar to masks worn in Venetian culture, this mask will free you from social codes and markers of identity. We will walk hand in hand wherever you wish. At certain points during our journey we might sit in silence, we might talk to other people, or we might just talk to each other. When we decide our journey has reached a midway point we will retrace our steps. We will walk back to the place of our departure separately on opposite sides of the path.  


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In Letter to My Father Franz Kafka uses parricide (the killing of the father) as a concept to reflect on how actions by authoritarian governments manifest in the family unit. To confront this concept an attendant will offer a provocation in the women’s restroom while washing your hands. What if you inherited your mother’s family name rather than your father’s family name? How would it change the way you self-identify, interact with others and perceive the world? With the participant’s permission this experience will be documented,  so it’s traces will be hand written on the walls of the men’s restrooms and exhibited as an installation.

Learning Farsi on Teheran ro (테헤란로)

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Traces of a love story will be under a bowl of sugar next to a cup of tea. This love story requires multiple endings. Would you like to write, in any language, the final chapter of Learning Farsi on Teheran ro (테헤란로)? Napkins and tea will be provided.

How Do We Dress for the Weather?~ a dance (work-in-progress)

The climate is changing. Regimes are changing.  Borders are changing, and so must modes of self-expression and perception. How do we express agency in a world where one’s body has been framed in a particular racial discourse? How Do We Dress for the Weather? is an opportunity to inhabit one’s body through the interplay between learning new movement and language, so through alterity we might sense sameness.

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Dancing through the Diaspora ~ (work-in-progress)

In honor of the Iranian New Year, Norouz, the first Persian Day parade in Los Angeles took place during March 2015. Videos and photographs of the parade will be projected onto a screen  showing various forms of traditional Persian dance and movements performed by members of the ethnically diverse community of the Iranian diaspora in Southern California. Participants will be invited to move with a performer as she recalls  the experience. Somewhere between the sensual and the disembodied, Dancing Through the Diaspora, is a performative process of reorienting one’s self through and with another person. 

On the screen, I see myself there where I was, once in a physical space that opened up a place inside; I am there and here. What is worse than loneliness? There is light behind us and there is light in front of us. Now that you are with me, our shadows guide us through where we may travel. –adapted from Michel Foucault’s Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias


Every Four Years ~ a performance lecture (work-in-progress) 

From July 4 to August 11 a video artwork from Every Four Years will be screened in, Parallel Screens, a group exhibition at 1805 Gallery.

To what extent has fear impacted the way you move? What constitutes movement enforcing fear? What denotes fearless movements? Every Four Years considers how cultures of fear (re)enforce values that form identity through embodiment. It is a performative mediation, analyzing ways one (re)inhabits ‘self’ through other cultures at different times, and in several places. In this performance, place is virtual, physical and psychological.

Every Four Years considers to what extent is mimesis subversion or reiteration. I analyze parallels and discontinuities between embodying both aggressor and martyr, arguing that this hybridization consolidates fear and fearlessness, therefore, creating another presence or performance quality. Drawing upon practice-based research and autoethnographic methodologies I embody an image of a martyr to subvert ideological manipulation by withdrawing the image of spectating death, but supplying sound, minimal text and movement without emotion to create a situation where the spectator can be objective. The goal is to prove objectivity subversive in this context because the repeatability of these (re)inhabitations and the repetition of trauma (changing the action from passivity to activity) can transform an iconic event.