From Home

Date of Submission

Spring 2011

Academic Program



Stephen Shore

Abstract/Artist's Statement

From Home | Notes

Photographs by Jacqueline Bao

“ There are things we live among ‘and to see them is to know ourselves.’ ”

- George Oppen, Of Being Numerous

1. I left home and went home numerous times this year: I left my home in Tivoli for my home in Los Angeles, I left Los Angeles for the southern Californian deserts, I left the desert for the ocean, I left my mom’s for my dad’s. Often I traveled long and short distances only to see the recurring forms multiplied.

2. Sublime is rooted in the latin words sub and limen. Sub, colloquially thought to mean under or below, also preserves the meaning of an upward movement, “tending up towards”.[i] Limen is translated to ‘lintel,’ traditionally the strongest structure of a home and the highest beam marking an entrance. In Old French and Latin, lintel signifies the threshold and is rooted in the Latin word limitaris, that “which is on the border.”[ii] To reach the “sublime,” then, is to reach up toward the lintel, the border of the interior and exterior worlds.

3. Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger write that homelessness is the modern phenomenon sin qua nom. This profound homelessness is reiterated and repeated in Dostoevsky’s Ice Palace, Nietzsche’s Desert, and Weber’s Iron Cage. Homelessness most simply is the inability to experience being-at-home, though what is Home for Heidegger is not a house but an unhinged thinking and for Arendt the certain disappearance of worldliness, being of the common world.

[i] Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=sublime

[ii] Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=lintel

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