On an otherwise quiet street on the border of Del Mar and Solana Beach, 1660 Lugano Lane is, once again, a bustle. Things seem relatively quiet on the outside, but inside, Baja-based artists the De la Torre brothers (Einar and Jamex) are frantically unwrapping hundreds of homemade trinkets that are part of a large sculptural installation called "Quemando las Naves," which deals with European conquistadors.
"We're going to put this material over the windows so that the place looks like it's burning," says Einar, pointing to the windows of the house. "Quemando las naves means burning ships."
Burning ships. A fitting description considering the show the brothers are participating in, Conquest, Control, Confinement, will be the second to last show at A Ship in the Woods house. For nearly five years, the house has not only served as a compound for Ships' main players (co-founders RJ Brooks and Dan Fauchier, curator Lianne Mueller, and assistant director Addison Stonestreet), but also as a gallery space that emphasizes creative freedom.
"They told us over a year ago that they were going to take it over and we had until the next month," says Mueller, referring to the owners of the property. "They were generous in that they kept extending it. They finally gave us until the end of July."
It does seem tragic on the surface. A Ship in the Woods has been a consistent force in a North County scene that's not exactly known for experimental art shows. Brooks, who has been here since the beginning, says Ship has never strayed from its motto of being "a vessel for cultural capital."
"You never know how things will unfold, especially in art nonprofits, but the vision and intention from the beginning has always been to create a community where elevated discussions can be had outside of institutional formats and within a domestic environment," he says. But Brooks maintains that A Ship in the Woods will continue, and is already looking for a new house.
"We're in the process of locating a permanent new home. We'll have some transitional period over the summer but our shows will continue."
In the meantime, Brooks and the gang will hold a silent auction to raise funds for future shows on Saturday, June 27 just before the final house show on July 17. Conquest, Control, Confinement, which opens May 29 from 6 to 11 p.m., will also feature art from Turkish artist Beliz Iristay and a performance from buzz-band Prayers.
"The [De la Torre] brothers have some ideas of ways they can collaborate with the Prayers," says Mueller.
"Maybe we'll sacrifice a chicken," jokes Einar.
Everybody laughs. "As long as you clean it up," replies Brooks.