Home| Spring 2018
"We make our houses and they turn upon us the image of our own taste and permanently fix it in our very nature. Our works and our surroundings corrupt or refine our souls. The dwelling, the walls, the windows, the roof, the furniture, the pictures, the ornaments, the dress, the fence or hedge -- all act constantly upon the imagination and determine its content…” - Charles Richmond Henderson, The Social Spirit of America, 1908
In this Open Call, we want to explore the idea of home and domestic space, show us what home could mean. Is it where you come from, or what you make for yourself?
“It’s always been my philosophy to try to make art out of the everyday and ordinary…it never occurred to me to leave home to make art.” - Sally Mann
"I began working on A Setting Sun a few years ago shortly after turning 31, at a residency program in Upstate New York. I remember feeling my age, the oldest among a group who were only a few years out of school, like a chaperone making sure everyone was six inches apart at a high school dance. I started making portraits of everyday objects from my day to day life, focusing on things which were often meant to be thrown away but would never really decay, or items recently bought at the store which somehow already looked dated; items which functioned as contemporary artifacts. Finding my Facebook feed suddenly cluttered with pictures of toddlers and announcements of first houses, I began thinking about my photographs in terms of aging, impermanence, and the passage of time. What do we leave behind? How will we be remembered?"
"'Adrift' explores the theme of home as a dislocation. Home is not the physical and social place where I come from nor the emotional space in which I presently dwell but the quiet clash between them. The project searches this duality for vestiges of home to discover that the search itself is a wandering pilgrimage that leaves one, ultimately, adrift."
Hellen Colman is a Chicago-based photographer primary working on artists’ books. Her work spans several media striving to construct alternative languages to express the sentiment. She is also a mathematician. Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, she received her PhD from the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Hellen also holds a Certificate in Painting from the SAIC and has been exploring the medium of photography since 2008.
Tenuous Connections (2017-present) is Usonis' most recent project. Over the last six years, both Usonis and his mother experienced a number of traumatic events which strained their relationship. However, within the last two years, they've begun to mend back together. The images in this series focus on the prayer-like act of daydreaming while waiting—something Usonis would do as a child in the time between coming home from school and his mother coming home from work.
Tenuous Connections explores the home as a sort of shrine: both a record of where we come from and a self-defined religious space. It blends framed talismans of history, the cast-offs of everyday life, and aesthetics. To Usonis, these inanimate yet intimate relationships between objects and spaces act as metaphors for human actions and interactions, and when grouped together, tell the stories of the performative relationships we can grow, cut off, and re-sow in whatever space we live.
Karolis Usonis (b. 1993, Lithuania) is a photography-focused artist based in Chicago. He spent half of his childhood in Lithuania and graduated from the Lithuanian School of Chicago in 2010. During his studies at Loyola University Chicago, he focused on literary theory, art history, and analog photography.