Welcome to the Dollhouse, a Domestic View Opens at MOCA

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Moyra Davey, Pilon, 1999, C-print, 14 x 18 in. (35.6 x 45.7 cm), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, purchased with funds provided by the Photography Committee

LOS ANGELES— Welcome to the Dollhouse, an exhibition of works from MOCA’s permanent collection that address, document, or deconstruct notions of domesticity will be on view from January 20–April 8, 2018 at MOCA Pacific Design Center.

Moving through the everyday, if not ordinary, spaces one might find in a typical middle-class American suburban home—yard, foyer, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom—the exhibition playfully examines a variety of approaches to the idea of the domestic found within the museum’s renowned collection.

Including sculpture, photography, painting, video, and drawing from the 1950s to the present, Welcome to the Dollhouse focuses on works by artists for whom a dissolution of the boundary between the fine arts and design is a central concern; works by artists engaged in a more documentary or photojournalistic approach to capturing domestic spaces and their maintenance; works by artists that veer increasingly towards the melancholic and romantic in their depictions of the interior spaces of the home; and works by artists engaged in strategies of appropriation, often repurposing familiar household objects and/or their representations and making them increasingly strange or absurd.

Some artists and works lie outside of these conceptual frameworks, while others could easily be said to move fluidly between and across them. What the works share, however, is the absence of the human form and the positioning of the viewer in the role of the inhabitant. Among the artists featured are Lynn Aldrich, Julie Becker, Meg Cranston, Ross Bleckner, Moyra Davey, Judy Fiskin, Robert Gober, Jim Isermann, Mike Kelley, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Bill Owens, Jorge Pardo, Richard Prince, and others. Welcome to the Dollhouse considers the home as a space of the banal and mundane, of solitude and sanctuary, as well as aspiration and self-construction. Historically associated—and pejoratively so— with femininity and “women’s work,” the domestic is here conceived as a site of projected fantasy.

Welcome to the Dollhouse is organized by Rebecca Matalon, Curatorial Associate, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

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