The Travelling Library / BINDbox is an ephemeral library of photobooks selected for their relevance to the festival’s theme: ‘domesticities’. Curated by BIND, this exhibition showcases an eclectic mix of publications from different places and eras, with an installation acknowledging the physicality of the ‘book-objects’ as much as the spirit of the house they will temporarily inhabit.
A Home In the World
If the world is a stage where we have our roles to play, our homes are perhaps the backstage. When we’ve had yet another day of acting in the same play and life begins to feel mindless or predictable, most of us know we can return home. Home is where someone or something is often waiting for us in the wings to tell us we put on a great show, even if no one applauded. This could be a souvenir from a foreign trip that reminds us that we are adventurous and free, or photographs that tell us we are the protagonists of some shows.
And so we begin to create our homes with objects and people that narrate a coherent story of who we are and with reminders of who we want to be. While our homes provide a space for us to retreat, motivate and define ourselves they also serve as spaces to display this version of ourselves.
The architecture of our homes often echo these two perspectives – with some areas out of reach from visitors eyes and some where we put on our performance. For some of us home is a carefully constructed material space, for some it could be a community that gives us a sense of belonging, for some it could be a quiet library to to get lost in and for some others home can simply be within them.
For the writer Jeanette Winterson home is the rug she has carried with her since she had to leave hers at sixteen. She suggests the best way to make any place home is to “invest ordinary objects with talismanic power”, something she refers to as ‘private magic’. And so this rug, reminiscent of the “flying carpet” she had as a child, reminded her that she was free and that, in spite of having to move from one temporary house to another and not having very much, she had everything she needed.
In this exhibition we journey through living rooms that offer their inhabitants a chance to be themselves without the fear of the suppressive powers outside. Here in a small town, a photographer opens up his decaying archive to an anthropologist and through their conversations we get a chance to understand the role of photography in recording the mindset and representing and specific aspirations of the people who employed his services. There, we have the unusual opportunity to be introduced to the daily lives of a fraction of the people who lived unashamed lives against the backdrop of a society that stigmatised them when they were most vulnerable.
Text by Andrea Fernandes // www.bindcollective.in