Anacostia, DC

Home Mender

DC 5x5 Project with the DCCAH. Anacostia, Washington DC


Monica drove cross-country with fellow collaborators collecting salvaged materials, discarded refuse and recycled material to create Home Mender – a cacophony of color, texture and movement. This surreal and immersive sight specific installation, transported the viewer to a dreamlike world. Imbued with a warm handmade aesthetic, and Native American references.

Monica Canilao and her collaborators built an installation that spans the top floor and outside roof of a massive now abandoned building that once housed the remnants of police evidence documents, the weight of which is still palpable. Home Mender breathed new life into this hard edged space. “We came here to a completely empty room and built our own city,” Canilao described of the structure that they assembled to look like a woman’s legs; her torso turned into a small living room.

A soft opening was held in which the band The Bowerbirds played a secret show inside of the installation. They happened to be on tour for their new album release for ‘The Clearing’ (which Monica did the artwork for) going through DC and had a day between shows to come do a special intimate performance!!

Curated by Justine Topfer, commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities’ 5 x 5 initiative. The Old Police Evidence Warehouse


Primary Collaborators included but not limited to:

Steve Valdez, Ryan C. Doyle, Harrison Bartlett, Jessy Brown, Aminah Slor, Jesse Roadkill, Andrew Schrock, Ben Wolf, Tod Seelie, Ben Mortimer, Walker Mettling, Mike Brodie, Moses Grubb & Heidi Tullmann.

APRIL 2012