14 May 2008 – 25 May 2008

Lewisham Arthouse

London, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Bus: 36,436,171,172,321
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate
  • New Cross/New Cross Gate

Save Event: Unhomely

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Aliceson Carter, Dorothea Magonet, Victoria Scott, Nina Wakeford


Despite the proliferation of virtual worlds, and the simulated realities of computer games, the home, and the capacity to be settled or at ease in a place of one's own choosing, remains one of the most culturally important experiences of our time. In a period of migration and constant mobility, the home appears to provide a respite from the global forces as well as the local stresses that intrude on our intimate, private spaces. And yet the starting point of the four artists in this show is the need to reconsider experiences that, even though they make emerge from our domestic experiences, are distinctly unhomely. Beginning with the literal translation of Freud's concept of ‘Das Unheimliche' as ‘The Unhomely' the work in this show begins to comment on the lack of coherence of the contemporary home, either as a literal architectural space, or as a symbolic realm of promise and disappointment. Sociologist Zygmunt Bauman has written of the ‘vicious bacteria of domesticity', a phrase which recalls the capacity of the home to be colonised by destructive forces. The phrase might well suggest that the only way to respond would be an equally ferocious cleansing. Yet the artists in this show use a range of strategies to explore the energies and experiences of the contemporary unhomely, including a restaging of the mundane domestic object or process, or an overlooked emotional experience. The work also questions the boundaries of the home, as work looks to architectures beyond the four walls of the conventional structure. By acknowledging the contradictions within contemporary formations of the domestic, the show is far from a sullen treatise on the unhomely. New narratives are explored, and new emotional horizons suggested. All four artists are currently studying fine art at Goldsmiths.


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