Murmur: the house as vehicle for artistic and curatorial intervention

2019-11-15T00:17:54Z (GMT) by Rosslynd Joy Piggott
This exegetical and studio research presents the house and the house museum as a rich and fertile site for artistic and curatorial intervention. Houses contain complex layers of trace, memory and aura. Domestic interiors and objects present rich possibilities for artists and curators to introduce further narratives that build upon and respond to an existing site, creating spaces of an uncommon intimacy not readily available in a museum or gallery space.

The research is based around my installation Murmur (2013) at the Johnston Collection, East Melbourne, Australia. As part of The House of Ideas exhibition series, I was invited to work within the entire Victorian house and its collection. I chose to represent the narratives of the lives of the late antique dealer W. R Johnston, Ahmed Moussa Aboelmaaty and Angus Winneke, all of whom had lived in the house and whose stories had been misrepresented or suppressed since the house was established as a museum.

A selection of works by other artists and curators dealing with the house and house museum are examined in the first chapter. This chapter demonstrates the various and rich diversity of interventions by artists and curators within the house. Further examples of artistic and curatorial intervention in the house and house museum are explored in subsequent chapters devoted to Dennis Severs’ House, Spitalfields, London and the exhibition Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art held at the Palazzo Fortuny, Venice in 2007. Both works are considered as immersive spatial experiences that foreground uniquely intimate encounters with art works and objects within the context of the house.

Cumulus (mirrored) is the exhibition component of this research, which is to be presented at my studio and apartment in Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia in 2017. The exhibition is an invitation to attend my studio and apartment, where the spaces will operate as a mesh of connections between my own works and living spaces and those of W. R Johnston, Dennis Severs, and the City of Venice.