Home Stills Life
by Bastienne Schmidt
This is a three fold project about female gender roles and identity refracted through popular culture. Photography, drawings and film stills are used as mediums to the reflect the ambiguous enmeshing of women’s roles in popular culture.
In the first part large scale drawings take a look at female domestic gender roles and identity. Commercial photography from the fifties and sixties are used as a source of inspiration. They show a life at home of women in different poses of domesticity.
In my drawings silhouette like figures create a sense of ambivalence and irony through a process of layering.
The second part consists of series of staged self portraits photographed around Long Island.The photographs are quietly posed in public and private settings around Long Island ,such as Laundromats, Beauty Salons and other people’s homes. The housewife becomes a “Zelig“ like creature that has the innate ability to blend into a different environment. She seems to be ready to step out of the frame like a female hero out of a Wim Wenders movie, Inspired by painters such as Hokusai, Sigmar Polke and Edward Hopper this work takes on a social context of a world of suburban fragmentation and loneliness.
The third component of this project consists of movie stills. Through the process of photographing particular domestic scenes from TV screens through a layer of semitransparent fabrics, embroideries and drawings gestures ,that are indeed borrowed gestures, are being redefined and reinterpreted. Every day live scenes are found in movie scripts, that reflect types of behavior in female and male relationships determined by stereotypical views of a particular period of time .The chosen stills show women being preoccupied with domain things such as washing the dishes, and smoking, being in conversation, driving cars.
The book "Home Stills Life" is publish and it is distributed by DAP.