New Domesticity

James Watrous Gallery

Apr. 15, 2024 - Jun. 12, 2022

201 State Street, 3rd floor
Madison, 53704
PHONE 608 733-6633

Lois Bielefeld has always been fascinated by people’s habits and personal spaces and what they reveal. The New Domesticity series arose from reading Lynne Tillman’s book“What would Lynne Tillman Do?” with her Milwaukee artists’ book club. Each artist made new work thinking critically about Tillman’s essays. For Bielefeld, this was a series of portraits and audio interviews of the artists and their families (including her own), with the goal of asking how the idea of home and making home looks today. Since those original five portraits, Bielefeld has made portraits of over 52 families for this series.

Bielefeld’s portraits are highly collaborative. They begin with an in-depth audio interview, and result in her subjects performing or acting out domesticity within their homes for the camera in elaborate curated scenes. She is interested in the negotiation of the home space, how people are considering home and their roles within it, and the intersection between overarching cultural ideas and personal manifestations of home. Visitors can listen to edited versions of Bielefeld’s audio interviews in the gallery.

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