A Room for the Night

"Arriving at each new city, the traveller finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: The foreignness of what you no longer are or nor longer poses lies in wait for you in foreign, unpossessed places… " (Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities)

A Room for the Night is an ongoing photographic series made entirely in hotel rooms. Beginning in 2014, I have travelled around the world secretly making and photographing temporary sculptural assemblages using only the furniture and objects found in the hotel rooms I stayd in.

I am inspired by the relationship between familiar and unfamiliar space and how the unconscious finds meaning within the objects that surround us. Because of their temporary nature, hotel rooms are perfect laboratories for exploiting these ideas. Working alone, I stack, lean and balance furniture in configurations that range from the formal to the surreal. These sculptural installations transform the mundane familiarity of the room into a theater of beauty and absurdity. Upturned stacks of dressers and nightstands become tribal totems. Mattresses are leaned against walls to reveal garish designs beneath the sheets. Chairs and side tables are balanced in juxtapositions evoking modernist sculpture, minimalist installations and bauhaus architecture. These installations are photographed in the austere black and white style of crime scene photography. After the photograph is taken the room is carefully restored to its original condition. By hiding all traces of my activity I transform myself into the only witness and the photograph into the only evidence of anything having happened.

The photographs combine a rigorous formal approach with humorous art historical references to examine our uneasy relationship to hotel rooms as centers of displacement and intrigue. By reimagining the hotel room as a stage upon which unconscious impulses are privately enacted, my work makes visible the hidden dreams, desires, transgressions and lonely fantasies that all rooms secretly contain.