A sneak peak into other people’s bedrooms

“The bedroom, then, is the province of condradiction. A place that serves intimacy as well as it does isolation, it accomodates the extremes of human experience. Because whether you call it dreams and sex, or solitude and imtimacy, these are the experiences that the bedroom accomodates with the most grace, the walls that form both a narrow cloister for the soul and a gateway to a wider sphere of human exchange” (from, The Geography of Home: Writings on Where we Live by Akiko Busch)

As a preview to the upcoming exhibition, entitled “Where is Culture?”   to be coorindated by the Cultural Studies program of Edinburgh University, I want to post some of the photos I’ve been taking of other people’s bedrooms.  I’ve asked 5 people, of different genders, ages, nationalities to allow me to visit them in their bedroom and take pictures of both the room and its occupant.  Each person expressed some mild discomfort about being photographed in their bedroom. I asked people not to prepare for my visit and while some did, others left their rooms as they were.

 The experience of entering another’s bedroom is always somewhat exciting. There is the feeling that one has been invited into the secret domain of the occupant, a place not only physical, but emotionally and psychologically charged. Sometimes I would attempt to photograph something that seemed to me poignantly intimate, like an overflowing ashtray or the bathtowel hanging on a hook only to have the occupant cringe and declare, “oh! It is not usually like that! Don’t photograph that!” These seemingly innocuous experiences have led me down what will be a longer path of thinking about the filth and the dust and the dirt of our lives. Why do we shun it? What about it is inherently embarrassing?

And what can we tell about a person, or a person’s relationship to place and space by their bedroom…?

Bedroom #1

Photo M. Thurston

Bedroom #5 

Photo: M. Thurston

Bedroom #4

Photo M. Thurston

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~ by carrotfarm on June 4, 2010.

3 Responses to “A sneak peak into other people’s bedrooms”

  1. oh my!

    I love it. can’t wait to see the remaining photos!

  2. Hey Meg, I love this idea and the interest in looking at how we relate to (or distance ourselves from) the dirt, dust and filth in our lives. You know how we live, so you can see how it would interest me!

    xx Krista

  3. It is really interesting Meg, both your photos and the ideas behind this project. Like a spontaneous response to all these cold bedrooms featured in home decor magazines, bedrooms which look like that nobody ever had breakfast inside there, sex or a fight, that nobody ever lived there.

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