We are always rebuilding, renovating and redecorating. But what is actually going
on behind those polished exteriors? The Australian artist Ian Strange is obsessed
with showing other sides to our homes.
We all have our dream house. We see them in flashy interior design magazines or in amazing surroundings on TV. But no one has ever interpreted our relationship to our homes in the way the Australian artist Ian Strange does. His latest installation is a replica of his childhood home outside Perth that appears to have fallen from the sky outside the Art Gallery installation in Adelaide. It looks like a black meteorite that has embedded itself in the tarmac and consequently it was named "Landed".
The house is the reaction to the catastrophic earthquake in Christchurch in New Zealand, but also to the financial crisis a number of years ago when many people, in particular in Detroit, USA, were forced to leave their homes.
It was not really a surprise that his own childhood home was used in the installation. In previous exhibitions, he for instance built a full-scale reproduction of the house and painted over the entire exterior with a gigantic skull.
"It was a little like how I felt when I grew up in a middle-class area with identical houses. We were all the same but at the same time we weren’t. We are still alone even if we are surrounded by loads of people," he explains.
Ian Strange made a name for himself as an artist already as a teenager, as a graffiti artist using the name Kid Zoom. From an early age he examined people's relationship to their homes and suburbia. At times in a very dramatic fashion. For instance he set houses on fire in a documentary which received a lot of attention and in one case he converted a series of houses into gigantic dolls houses that you could look into. On a rooftop in New York, where he now lives, he wrote the words "The city will eat me alive" in metre-high letters to describe his ambivalent feelings about the city.