Susan Copich Stages A Darkly Humorous And Disturbing Family Life In “Domestic Bliss”

Bath Time

Bath Time

Mommy Time

Mommy Time

Happy Days

Happy Days

Reaching middle-age, photographer Susan Copich was feeling disillusioned with her acting career, disenchanted with her marriage, and, when she noticed her absence from every family photo, as if she were disappearing. Her solution was to create the series “Domestic Bliss,” staged photos featuring her in darkly humorous scenes from an exaggerated life.

“I use proverbs, idioms, and biblical scriptures as a conduit to reach my inner creativity while grounding it to something real. Social observation continues to fuel my inspiration. The use of humor allows me to mock the worlds I traipse through while permitting the viewer to live vicariously through the character. I project my thoughts into a frozen a moment in time, allowing the story to continually unfold in front of you.”

She tackles topics like unsupervised children with access to guns, women and food, and homicidal anger, as well as lighter topics such as Christmas cards and crying over spilt milk. Some of the images are very dark, indeed, such as “Bath Time” with its implication of double murder/suicide, and “Anger Management,” which depicts Copich, with unkempt hair and Diane von Furstenberg dress, in the act of wringing the family dog’s neck in front of her daughters.

“I dwell in the dark thoughts and recesses of my mind to create character and subject, in order to project them into a frozen moment of time, allowing the story to continue to unfold bilaterally for the viewer. I feel a certain freedom to live vicariously through these characters to engage, seek to navigate (and, no less, avoid), both my own personal imperatives as woman, artist, mother, and wife, as well as those – personal, social and cultural – that are imposed on me by others.”

The photos are funny and disturbing, polarizing and attention-grabbing. It seems that Susan Copich is in no danger of disappearing any time soon.

All photos by Susan Copich, courtesy of Moen Mason Gallery. (Via Demilked)

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Forensic Series Captures The Inside Of Homes Where Domestic Homicides Occurred

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Angela Strassheim is photographer who used to capture crime scene images for forensic study. Her series, “Evidence,” documents the inside and outside of homes where domestic homicides have occurred. While the homes’ outside images ring familiar in a non-intimate way, the black and white, long exposure images of the homes’ insides offer a haunting glimpse into a more intimate space. The most unsettling aspect of these images are the noticeable physical traces of disputes – the bright, white flecks and splatters observed in the photos are the result of “Blue Star” solution being applied to surfaces to activate the “physical memory of blood through contacting the remaining DNA proteins.”

Of her series, Strassheim says, “Perhaps we have all processed a question in certain love relationships: Could we be a victim of violence or perform an act of violence against a loved one out of our immense capacity to feel jealousy, anger, rage, and desperation in a moment of extreme emotion?  These photographs allow for the viewer to entertain the idea that this situation could involve anyone of us…The crime scene is presented on two levels; it is both an accurate, tragic, and dramatic transcription of the event and a mysterious backdrop onto which one can project their imagination.” (via it’s nice that and women in photography)

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Robert Therrien’s Enlarged Domestic World

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Robert Therrien recontextualizes everyday images and objects by exaggerating them. His larger-than-life sculptures of tables, chairs, and dishware offer viewers an alternative perspective of these usually mundane and overlooked domestic elements. Therrien’s work simultaneously validates and absurdifies these simple objects by calling attention to their existence. In addition to enlarging items, Therrien also warps them or physically places them in a thoughtful context, commenting on the boundaries of the functionality, design, and purpose of these simple objects and images. Accompanying the inorganic images are organic ones, such as a 51 inch tall beard and a 47 inch long stork beak with bundle. Therrien has lived in Los Angeles since 1971.

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Julie Schenkelberg’s Domestic Object Installations

 Julie Schenkelberg makes installations that look like domestic earthquakes. Her monumental pieces talk to us about the collective memory we share in objects and its inevitable disintegration. As most all domestic objects have some sort of function, their ubiquity–tables, chairs, lamps, plates, etc in every home– is a sign that our experience of the life is much more communal than individual, and likewise our memories. Julie takes the objects of our experience and compiles them into globs of memory, as they are probably situated in our own brains. But, like our own memories, she shows us these objects as broken and decaying in structures that look strong and sound but are, in the grand scheme of things, utterly tenuous. Her work is physical poetry at its best.

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