2.11.2008

other choices, other rooms

Maybe I've become too attuned to 'New New Realism' in photography, fashion and otherwise? The flashlit anti-glamour of Juergen Teller for instance, or the mundane, affectless, almost documentary style of... well, if I knew slightly more about contemporary photography I could reel off the pertinent example. Martin Parr? Am I reaching here?: I was looking at real estate listings online and somehow ended up on Foxtons. (I am not looking for properties in the more far-flung reaches of Brooklyn so you get an idea, here, of how I waste my time.) The more I poked around, the more I was struck by the interior shots of each house. Presented without judgment, the rooms are neatened and posed as best they can be in all their beruffled (or benighted) glory. I think it's the naive aspirational quality mixed with a discomforting airlessness that I find interesting. It reminds me of a Sears studio portrait. Or perhaps its just the decor choices...

Addendum:
"New York Loving Brit" (who under no circumstances should be confused with "New York Brit") writes that these scenes remind him of David Lynch. I can see where he's going with that. Although I wasn't initially seeing anything unnerving about these rooms, just a leaden unpleasantness, I've found a reference that seems to take things from the mundane to the menacing: Gregor Schneider.

Schneider, a German artist, has marshaled an ongoing 20-year work called "Dead House"– a transformation of his boyhood
home in which he replicated and reconfigured spaces, creating false walls and dead end corridors. Another work Die Familie Schneider was an installation created in 2 identical houses in London's East End (image above). Members of the public were allowed to let themselves into the houses individually, by key, to view the homes and observe the inhabitants who went about their tasks– personal, unsavory, monotonous– unresponsive and unseeing. Schneider, as he is summed up: "Under his hand, the domestic environment becomes the site of an unrelenting existential confrontation." Amazing. I think I might have to get the book, if I can stand it...

Images, properties from Foxtons: Bed Stuy, Old Mill Basin, Cypress Hill, Marine Park, Sunset Park

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

For some reason those rooms remind me of David Lynch films.

Angela, my last email had a '?' at the end when it should have been a '!'

Note for new york brit: Luc Sante`s book, 'Low Life' may be of interest. It covers the period 1840 to 1919.

From New York loving Brit!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Gregor Schneider. Another new one on me. I now come here for an art education!

By the way, Angela, New York loving Brit and new york brit are two different people. Sorry for the confusion. Were you drinking at the time? :-)

angela said...

oops, oh dear. I am confused. I think a "New York Brit" had left a comment a bit ago--

I thought you were being emphatic with the name! You know, expanding on your feelings...

THANKS for comments.

--> I think I'm going to buy Gregor Schneider's book of his London/Artangel installation. Likely to be a further post on the book itself...

Anonymous said...

'personal, unsavory, monotonous'. That sounds more than a little interesting and intriguing. :-)

George Steichen - almost an anagram of Gregor Schneider - is a new favourite of mine. He produced some good photograhy of New York City.

Matt. (New York loving Brit!)

Anonymous said...

Sorry for more confusion; it`s Edward Steichen, not George Steichen!

I`m in ever increasing circles of confusion. A bit like life really.

Matt.

angela said...

Oh yes, I was going to correct you but didnt get around to it...

Matt said...

Thankyou Angela. ;-)

SAM RENSEIW said...

just serendipitously discovered your fine blog via side-effects. superb!

your gaze reminds me of my friend zoe tati. > zoetati.blogspot.com.

she has a serie of interiors (found pictures) that you might appreciate. >
http://zoetati.blogspot.com/2007_09_01_archive.html
cheers, sam

angela said...

Thank you very much Sam!
I will check out your links

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