Rachel Loischild (USA): Estate Sale
Gallery offline – updating soon
Estate Sale is an investigation of the estate sales of New England documenting the objects and domestic spaces that remain when someone dies. Estate Sales becomes a collection of environmental portraits that tell a story about individual lives, families, and an entire generation which is quickly evaporating. Details of ones life are laid out and exposed, allowing for the examination of the physical relics of someone’s life. This work examines these domestic spaces that have been very clearly shaped by women. In doing so, I am both creating portraits of these women and examining the cultural nuances to which they subscribed, as well as comparing them to our own schema today. This can be seen in the pieces of cosmetics remaining on a dressing table and the ornamentation of a house; even the choice of wall paper reflects such subtleties.
The overwhelming prevalence of religious iconography with in these homes also reflects the distance between contemporary life and the cultural norms of the decedent. The prevalent repetition of dualities within the home remind us the Dick and Jane / Fathers Knows Best fantasy that we share about this time period, being so focused on “traditional” nuclear family, while other visual clues key us in to the realities of the lives that existed within the spaces.
Somber but curious – well worn surfaces, upholstery faded from decades of sun. Illumination plays a key role in the work, aesthetically adding life back into a space that is now defined by death. What remains becomes still life as anthropology, these homes become a part of both art and social science. The miniature as the grand and the grand as the miniature, like museum dioramas tell us of an ancient past, these still lives speak to us of the recent past allowing us to create our own dialogue with this time gone by.