© Lisa Klapstock, Beige sofa, from the series Living room, 2004

© Lisa Klapstock, Yellow armchair, from the series Living room, 2000

“Since 1998, I have been developing a body of work shot exclusively in laneways around my neighbourhood in downtown Toronto. The laneway is a discrete and relatively uncontrolled urban space where the boundary between public and private realms is mutable. The mutability of thresholds separating public and private space creates an uneasy, but potent ambiguity. A garage door opens and becomes a window into another space that opens into yet another, the backyard. The garage becomes public when the door is raised; or conversely the laneway is privatized as this domain, with its contents and occupants, expands into the lane. My presence as a photographer is largely unwelcome in the laneway, and I am often made to feel as though I am trespassing.

Living Room is a performative occupation of this public place. Encased in protective paper coveralls, I seat myself, uninvited, on a stranger’s discarded furniture, and make a record.

Each image in the series is a unique size. The size is determined by the scale of the figure, which remains identical in every portrait. In this work, I am interested in drawing attention to the act of composing within the camera. I am also interested in subverting the convention of traditional photographic taxonomies that present a suite of images of identical size and scale.

The Living Room images are presented in a white frame that works like a window architrave, framing a view onto the photographed space. In this work, the frame, like the photographic image itself, serves to further ‘domesticate’ the laneway.”

artist’s statement

More of Lisa’s work here

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