Playing at Home: The House in Contemporary Art

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'There's no place like home'; 'safe as houses'; 'home is where the heart is': ideas of the house and home are rich in cultural cliches and contradictory meanings. Playing at Home explores the different ways in which artists have engaged with this popular everyday theme - from 'broken homes' to haunted houses, doll's houses, mobile homes and greenhouses. The book considers how issues of gender, identity, class and place can overlap and interact in our relationships with 'home', and how certain artworks disturb our comfortable ideas of what it means to be 'at home'. While other books have touched on examples of the 'uncanny' and surreal presentation of houses in art, this one argues that an understanding of the role of irony and play, and the critical potential of the 'everyday', are equally important in our interpretations of these intriguing works. The author draws on the work of philosophers, cultural theorists and art critics to enrich our understanding of this genre. Covering the work of well-known artists, including Tracey Emin, Gordon Matta-Clark, Rachel Whiteread, Cornelia Parker, Vito Acconci, Michael Landy, Richard Wilson, Mike Kelley and Louise Bourgeois, the book also looks at artists who travel across continents, for whom home is a shifting notion, such as Do-Ho Suh and Pascale Marthine Tayou. Discussing a wide range of media, including installation and film, and richly illustrated, Playing at Home is a compelling survey of one of contemporary art's popular themes.