There’s nothing like clicking on the “additional pictures” or "virtual tour" to realize that your own home (and by ‘your’ I mean ‘my’) is an unphotogenic jumble of memory-things you can’t get rid of for sentimental reasons. Your space is unsuitable for realtylink viewing because it is not a market-commodity; it’s a refuge from all that superficiality.
Occasionally, though, you get a glimpse of that rich world of personal spaces. That’s why I lingered so long at the final project of Mary Wendel Genosa during the Emily Carr University graduation show opening last weekend, and why I went back a few days later. The graduating photography student's compelling large-scale portraits of twentysomethings in their sleeping quarters, Bedroom Biographies are a glimpse into the values of the newest generation of adults. The narratives are rich here. There is the straddling of childhood and adulthood; the impermanence at this time of life; dislocation and alienation; engendered spaces and objects. Each 91cm X 60cm tableau is rich with signifiers and most devoid of self-consciousness. There is sincerity in each image, an inherent trust between subject and photographer.
The accompanying hardcover book covering Wendel Genosa’s complete series includes reflective commentary by the subjects, elevating them from person-objects to thinking individuals. But it is their personal spaces that speak loudest of their struggles and their need for solace and comfort. You can see it in the stuff, in the lack of stuff, the kind of stuff, their arrangement of the stuff.
The Show 2015 continues at the Granville Island campus until May 17, 10 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. Take in one of the free one-hour tours on Saturday, May 9, 1 pm, Thursday, May 14, 6 p.m or Saturday, May 16, 1 pm. (Meet in the foyer of the North Building five minutes prior to a tour.)