The Housemate
Artist(s)/Author(s): Kevin O’Meara
Format: Book
Edition: Second edition of 400
City Produced/Published: Los Angeles
Reference Number: OS.32762.OM
Location: Oversized Stacks
Acquisition Date: 2/11/2022
Copies: 2

The Housemate critically examines the relationship between capitalism and care in the wake of the industrial expansion of treatment for alcoholism and addiction. Current models of sober housing, while abstractly beneficial, subvert the wellbeing of the individual by shifting the focus from community support to finance and power. The primary purpose is no longer to provide safe transitional housing but to operate a successful business. An extractive and carceral relationship creates adverse conditions for mutual-aid communities because of the limited social power of residents enrolled in such programs. Since leaving Dickey House in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 2008, O’Meara has been collecting photographs, community bulletin-boards, and other ephemeral objects from peers with similar experiences. This show and the subsequent book, by the same name, poses an important question; “Can community, spirituality and capitalism coexist?”

(LACA holds two copies of The Housemate. One is located in Oversize Stacks and the other is part of the collection Checking In: Art and Harm Reduction)

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