DROWNING DEPTHS (HOME)
Who gets to be the subject of the story, who matters, and who our compassion and interest should be directed at is a loaded question.
Drowning Depths (Home), a multi-part digital collage series reflecting on who gets to be the subject of the story taking place at home, who matters behind the scene, and who our compassion and interest should be directed at as a matter of both personal and political will. A series of overly familiar domestic scenes are altered to appear disorienting, slightly menacing - the bedroom, bathtub, cabinets, hallway, chair... are all too easy to recognize yet, devoid of the human presence, they issue an invitation to think carefully about who and how fully one gets to inhabit these spaces.
What does one understand with "life at home" and what are the various coping mechanisms involved especially when it comes to women? Motherhood feels heavy, heavier still is the pressure to conform at the expense of one's whole personhood not to mention the weight of day-to-day momentous yet banal existence. An artist by profession and a jack of all trades by necessity, a poet and a picture book creator, a disenchanted wife and an engaged social crusader, a daughter and a mother, an avid reader and a good baker, how does Xheka, an artist, a mother and a wife live "life at home"? The creator in her keeps a purposefully irregular schedule, craves solitude, and must fade out of reach in order to work. The mother doesn't have a minute to herself. The wife's story seems to make sense to the world only if viewed through her husband's paycheck and accomplishments.
What about her? What about her work which is often done once the children are tucked in bed? What about her whole being which often gets relegated to unfulfilled potential? She is hard at work creating other spaces for herself, quietly but resolutely. These other rooms, empty yet pulsating, showcase the female artist's desire to cast a searching eye on all the ways that archetypal domestic life strips women, mothers in particular, from the ability to decide for themselves which facet of their multidimensional persona they choose to put in front of the world as worthy for further examination.
- Visual Influences
Agnes Martin - "When I think of art, I think of beauty. Beauty is the mystery of life. It is not in the eye it is in the mind. In our minds there is awareness of perfection,"
Louis Muhlstock - Empty Rooms is part of a series of studies of abandoned apartments in poor Montréal neighbourhoods in which Louis Muhlstock combines social observation and formal exploration.