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Domestic Violence

“(…)Shiny veneers, monumental couches, elegant cabinets, ornamental jardinières, padded sofas, soft cushions and patterned carpets protected from the feeling of disappointment and social and political instability. Symmetrically arranged furnishings and low-hanging paintings created an optical sensation of rounded and limited space. The room enclosed its resident absorbing all shocks and securing from injuries.

In the second half of the 19th century, the bourgeois playroom is visited by some eccentric guests. The media starts to spit ectoplasm—viscous whitish substance called “body of ghosts” —and the round tables decorated with doilies or embroidered napkins become the means of communication with the intangible sphere. The mahogany or nut-tree table resting on a central solid leg fixed to a plinth does not only host social encounters. Such tables gave rest to townsmen and allowed them to sip tea, argue with revelers or listen to musicians; but they were also recommended to the beginning spiritualists. After the year 1848, the idealized chambers similar to those illustrated in furniture brochures become laboratories where science and occult came together (…)”.

The project represents a further stage in my reflections on the relationship of the occult to the domestic environment and the bourgeoisie.

(Excerpt from the text titled Domestic Violence published as a part of the catalogue of the Rooms exhibition curated by Frank Ammer during the 2019 Fotofestiwal in Łódź.)

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