Photographs by Bastienne Schmidt. Foreword by Vicki Goldberg.
Jovis, 2011. 128 pp., 80 color illustrations, 12x9¾".
German photographer Bastienne Schmidt (born 1961) challenges the popular idyll of household as
private utopia with her Home Stills series. Posing in the role of lone housewife, and staging her
works exclusively in Long Island, the artist recapitulates disconcertingly familiar scenarios
excerpted from daytime TV. Following Highway 27 across Long Island from Patchogue to
Easthampton, Schmidt recreates her interiors—from cheap motel rooms to upscale mansions—as
imaginary rooms of her own, performing a dystopian twist on Virginia Woolf’s eponymous idea of
a feminist haven. Recalling the work of Cindy Sherman, Schmidt draws on such diverse visual
influences as the films of Wim Wenders and the paintings and prints of Hokusai, Sigmar Polke, Jan
Vermeer and Edward Hopper, to portray the alienated social contracts of a world of suburban
fragmentation and loneliness.