Friday, June 22, 2007

The Décor Project • Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens

Décor Project: BILLY (North View)

Hadley & Maxwell's 'Décor Project' puts the private spaces of curators and art collectors on public display. Hadley Howes and Maxwell Stephens have been collaborating for seven years on a variety of postmodern conceptual projects. For "The Décor Project," they asked several curators, gallery owners, and art collectors for permission to enter their homes. The artists rearranged the interiors and took photographs, then put everything back in its place. The resulting project crosses the boundary between public and private space.

Décor Project: SANDMAN (25 Years 25 Minutes I)

Décor Project: WHITE ON WHITE
White on White, a sequence of 17 photos shot once an hour throughout a single day in the home of Winnipeg curator Risa Horowitz. Judging from her questionnaire, Horowitz is a very private person, and she expressed serious reservations about two artists invading her space. In deference to her misgivings, the artists chose to shoot just one corner of the kitchen. In each of these photos, the subtle changes of light throughout the day are lovely, and the painting of date and time on the wall is reminiscent of one of Horowitz's favorite artists, On Kawara. Hadley & Maxwell took extra precautions to shield Horowitz's space from public view: Surfaces and objects throughout the room (including furniture, a radiator, a pepper mill, and a bowl of fruit) have been meticulously covered in white foam core. The resulting paradox is fascinating: a private space made public—but as a space in which every object is shielded from view by a delicate armor of white.

Décor Project: Decoy - Pouffe Event
One of those asked to participate in the project was the Frye Art Museum's new curator, Robin Held. The artists reworked Held's apartment over several days. The photographs of it are subtle, almost coy. In the most compelling of the three, Pouffe Event, Hadley & Maxwell allude to Held's stated fondness for the conceptual artist George Brecht by propping a bed on a chair (Brecht was a Fluxus artist whose works included arrangements of furniture). The focus of the photograph is on the small divot left in the carpet by the suspended bed—a sly study of absence. It also refers to Held's slightly mysterious answer to a question about her favorite object in her home: "the space under my bed."

Décor Project: Decoy - The Absent One

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1 comment:

Risa said...

Great Blog...though, your information isn't quite accurate....H&M were wonderful to work with: thoughtful, witty, attentive and respectful...I had a roommate at the time who had misgivings and precautions about opening up our home - whose privacy was protected: if it had been up to me, H&M would have had full reign of the space. In any event, the work they produced is fabulous and I'm so pleased they are receiving acclaim for their efforts.

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