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Exhibitions

Rachel Whiteread and George Segal Play House at MCA Chicago's "Homebodies" Show

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In Doug Aitken's 'HOUSE (i don't know),' 2011 (detail), a dilapidated home gets captured in vivid detail. (Courtesy of Doug Aitken; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Victoria-Miro, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles)
In Doug Aitken's 'HOUSE (i don't know),' 2011 (detail), a dilapidated home gets captured in vivid detail. (Courtesy of Doug Aitken; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich; Victoria-Miro, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles)
For Dzine's 'Imperial Nail Salon (my parents' living room),' 2011, visitors can make an appointment at www.mcachicago.org/nailsalon to get their nails done on two Saturdays a month. (Photo: Nathan Keay)
For Dzine's 'Imperial Nail Salon (my parents' living room),' 2011, visitors can make an appointment at www.mcachicago.org/nailsalon to get their nails done on two Saturdays a month. (Photo: Nathan Keay)
Nail art from Dzine's performance and installation "Get Nailed at the New Museum," 2011. (Photo: Chris Mosier, courtesy of the artist, Salon 94, New York, and Paul Kasmin, New York)
Nail art from Dzine's performance and installation "Get Nailed at the New Museum," 2011. (Photo: Chris Mosier, courtesy of the artist, Salon 94, New York, and Paul Kasmin, New York)
Rachel Whiteread's 'Untitled floor (Thirty-Six),' 2002. (Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York)
Rachel Whiteread's 'Untitled floor (Thirty-Six),' 2002. (Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York)
A video still from Guy Ben-Ner's 'Stealing Beauty,' 2007 (Courtesy of the artist; Aspect Ratio, Chicago; and Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin)
A video still from Guy Ben-Ner's 'Stealing Beauty,' 2007 (Courtesy of the artist; Aspect Ratio, Chicago; and Konrad Fischer Galerie, Berlin)
In 'Stealing Beauty,' Ben-Ner's family stages scenes in IKEA stores all over the world.
In 'Stealing Beauty,' Ben-Ner's family stages scenes in IKEA stores all over the world.
Francesca Woodman, 'It must be time for lunch now, New York, 1979,' 1979. (Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection. © 1979 Francesca Woodman. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago)
Francesca Woodman, 'It must be time for lunch now, New York, 1979,' 1979. (Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection. © 1979 Francesca Woodman. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago)

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 WoodmanMarina 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.

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