Untitled IX (Home Theater), 2010
4x5 color negative, inject print mounted on black plexi, 65" x 30"
In the series Home Theater I am photographing domestic spaces in which sadomasochistic sex acts are taking place. Even though the images are of the actual, lived-in domestic spaces, they appear to be artificial and even hyperreal, as if constructed as sets for a movie or a play.
In the broader sense I am interested in life as a form of theater, particularly in ways domestic spaces have been acted in and acted upon. I am intrigued by the "scenes" that people construct in their homes with all their semiotic referents not just to their individual pleasures but, more importantly, to the ones that are socially prescribed. What strikes me in the spaces I photograph is the proximity and even overlapping of performative spaces and traditional domestic spaces. By dividing these two spheres into separate photographic panels, I am ultimately questioning the notion of a traditional domestic space as something that is spontaneously, creatively designed-or "authored"-by us as individuals. After the sadomasochistic act is over and the "performers" "step into" the domestic space, the problem remains: Do we assume a different role or identity? Do we cease acting or do we merely exchange scripts? Does the traditional domestic space, then, become a performative space as well? Finally, do we, as individuals, consciously mediate that shift, or is it determined for us by the larger culture in ways we are unaware?