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The room that I currently call my own does not reflect much of me. All of the furniture- bed, dresser, questionably stable wooden chair- comes from the previous tenant. The walls are mostly bare, with the exception of three images: a bulldog decked out in leprechaun attire at the Kingston St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a photograph of my bedroom in a previous apartment, and a very old picture of my brother and me from back when we still resembled each other. A string of Christmas lights is haphazardly strung across the back wall, hung up four months after I moved in as an effort to make my room appear less vacant right before my boyfriend came over for the first time.
I have never been good at commanding a space with my presence. Most of my midterm critiques from college have been devoted to my lack of participation in the classroom. I don’t know how to make a room look like it belongs to me (aside from claiming it with my inability to put clothes in their proper place).
My focus on domestic spaces stems from an interest in the ability to construct an interior as one’s own. Homes are often a precarious balance of how we want to present ourselves, and the small evidences of who we truly are. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard writes, “It is better to live in a state of impermanence than in one of finality.” These rooms that we reside in are shaped by our desires, experiences, choices, and often change frequently just as we do.
Ordinary Space stems out of a desire to construct a place of my own, in a purely visual way, while exploring the private experiences of each home and its owners. I search for small moments that present traces of the lives that have been built there, and the camera allows me to fragment and restructure so that I can take a small ownership in these domestic landscapes.
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Pile, Emma Nicole, "Ordinary Space" (2015). Senior Projects Spring 2015. 316.