What is home? The new “Homebody” exhibition at the Cranbrook Art Museum explores

A chair. A double sink. A ceiling tile. A piece of drywall. A sculpture in the form of a lamp.

All are part of a new exhibition, “Homebody”, at the Cranbrook Art Museum, which explores the many meanings and layers of the home. But each element is anything but simple, and it’s about seeing the house as “an evolving concept,” said Kat Goffnett, the museum’s assistant curator of collections.

The exhibit features approximately 30 pieces by 20 artists, many with Michigan ties, including Mario Moore, Jessika Edgar, Sophie Eisner, Martha Mysko and Victoria Shaheen. “Homebody,” which features a range of mediums including photography, fiber and ceramics, runs through June 19.

The drywall, for example, is a rectangular piece of drywall from the home of artist Dominic Palarchio’s father in Brighton. It was typed around 2008. Pencil lines with names and dates mark the drywall, a growth chart for Palarchio and his siblings as well as cousins ​​and friends. Palarchio often uses found objects in his work, exploring issues of labor, class and material scarcity.

Drywall is about “capturing an aspect of the house,” said Palarchio, who rediscovered drywall while helping his father move house last year. “It may not be living there, but transiently.”

Goffnett said the idea for “Homebody” stemmed from his own experiences living in multiple apartments while in college in Michigan.

“I kept trying to find ways to find belonging and a home in these spaces that I had known I would only be in for over a year – and struggling with that,” he said. she stated.

Bulgarian-born artist Dessislava Terzieva, who splits her time between Bulgaria and Michigan, features two pieces in the exhibition, one of which is a sculpture that features a leather-gloved hand holding several plastic bags.

Artist Dessislava Terzieva "Physics of grief" the sculpture features bags and a leather glove.  Originally from Bulgaria, plastic bags are very popular in Eastern Europe.

Terzieva, who said her work often explores hybridity, belonging, nostalgia and memory, said that as taboo as plastic shopping bags may be in the Western world, it’s not the case in Eastern Europe.

“In Eastern Europe, the relationship is very different,” Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate Terzieva said in an email. “At one time during communism, the plastic bag was a precious commodity. Not only were they used as handbags, but they were washed, hung to dry, folded, and stored for future use.”

A piece called 'What to do with Windows', by Maria Mysko, hangs as part of a new exhibition called Homebody, at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, January 24, 2022. The exhibition explores the idea of what is at home.

Each piece in the exhibition is not what it seems. Many explore ideas of identity and belonging.

Artist Sophie Eisner used silicone to reinvent a double sink. But it looks nothing like a double sink as presented in the exhibition.

“Sophie’s work is really trying to play with people’s perception of those things that you use in your home every day – like sinks, bars of soap – to kind of make us appreciate them more, the consider in different ways and leverage their bodily connection,” Goffnett said.

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‘Homebody’

at the Cranbrook Art Museum, 39221 Woodward Avenue, Bloomfield Hills.

Open from Wednesday to June 19.

Go to https://cranbrookartmuseum.org/.

Mildred D. Field