Safe at Home
HOME sweet HOME and Safe,
being honest, I have not actually seen Safe (1995), the film that frames this exhibition. The text on the gallery wall told me Julianne Moore’s character was happy n tha, living life in suburbia. She was chill ~ stable ~ but eventually that environment, that lifestyle, so particular, manifested in an illness and she fled, bailed 2 live in a porcelain box in the desert, tortured and alone. sly. still sounds quite fancy though tbh.
and so that’s it, a beige-y sickness sours Safe, in the exhibition domestic bliss is sullied - -
a) n Michael Dean’s MDF dioramas/ corners + tables + chairs/ UPholstery is pealed back to reveal - omg - that ur comfort’s a construction. in all the senses. But tbh, I’m only saying this against the DFS end of year sale adverts on every 2minutes atm - that the little wooden scenes seem undone. they have a disappointment in them that is quite affecting. they somehow seem Safe-r because they are just themselves, on their way, pre-ravaged, #nomakeup. let’s go live in da woods.
and b) most explicitly performed in Yoshua Okón’s film, in which pink-blonde ladies show you round a house, sellin it: ‘your family deserve the best! and this is the best! this is your home!,’ mm their pitch is punctuated with panic-attacks. These IKEA meltdowns have a strangled, redundant terror—-The house is so Perfect, and they are so Stepford Wives-y, that their horror is contained. a spick and span mental breakdown * * * Is it that our alienation can only now be expressed within the comfort of the very Danger Zone that produces it? crying watching X-Factor in our living rooms; crying into Yankee Candles; sobbing while I moisturise my feet. Maybs, babes… Okón’s film is installed in front of rippling white curtains, and enjoyed from a couch (of course) atop a pale carpet (which i associate with people who make you take off your shoes when you enter their house, stress, I’m never wearing my good socks).
I felt uncomfortable in Safe, like, it worked on me. I sweated in a really productive way. and now, i have to get the train back home, where I will have a long bath, get into bed, and watch TV. only TV though because, being honest, I don’t want to see Safe (1995), it will only make me sweat more and i will have jus had my baff xxx