An eye-searing Doug Aitken composite photograph captures a crumbling house, the print itself splashed and splotched with signs of disturbance—a vision of the domestic space gone terribly, chaotically awry. Welcome to “Homebodies,” a new exhibition curated by Naomi Beckwith at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, that lays out a tumultuous blueprint of the various ways in which contemporary artists interpret the idea of the home.
The three sections of the exhibition ("Architectonics," "Division of Labor,"and "Psychogeographies") explore ideas ranging from the impact of the feminist movement to the metaphorical interpretations of our private refuges, all filtered through a diverse lineup of artists including George Segal, Rachel Whiteread, Guy Ben-Ner, Francesca Woodman, Marina Abramović, and others. Through video, installation, photography, and other media, these figures—who hail from six continents—look how we interact with our living spaces and vice versa, placing these concerns squarely in the lineage of 20th-century art history.
Domestic environments are clearly having a moment in thought-provoking exhibitions, as we saw in “Better Homes” at SculptureCenter (which runs through July 22). The new MCA show, up through October 13, will also present a nail-salon installation by the artist Dzine two Saturdays per month, when visitors can sit in a recreation of the artist’s childhood living room—and get an artful manicure.
See the slide show above for a tour of the exhibition.