House Arrest grew out of ongoing research into the re-evaluation and re-contextualisation of domestic politics within artistic practice. Initially inspired by Mierle Laderman Ukeles’s, ‘Maintenance Art Manifesto’ 1969 and her seminal ‘cleaning action’ performances, expanding a critique to the art institution, Spence and Irvine draw on their experiences from their own research areas and combine them with in the domestic sphere.
Exploring the relationship between art and the domestic, the ‘table’ became the space where this project was, and continues to be, contained. The endless, prosaic activities whose character is repetition can be chaotic, messy, relentless, and actions happen unnoticed. Often, the aim is to keep control over the domestic space and prevent the tsunami. In House Arrest: Domestic Actions attention is brought to simple acts through the lens of the camera. House Arrest focuses on a series of small scale, resonant actions using ordinary and familiar items such as eggs, cream and tea cups, resulting in a sonorous choreography to camera where actions allow for subtle transgressions. These slight contraventions of the norms of domestic behaviour aim to bring heightened consideration to common household acts. Here the tsunami is allowed to happen.
The installation comprises 3 sets of 2 screens. Each set of screens has frame accurate syncing allowing for a visual dialogue between the movement on each screen. The sound emanating from the screens circulate the room creating a powerful, sonorous interplay, at times deeply visceral, at other times gentle, and on occasion unbearable.