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In her latest project Jan McCullough uses photography to explore the fluid and constructed nature of what constitutes the ideal house. Driven by her discovery of an online discussion on the perfection of domestic spaces, McCullough moved her studio into a rented empty house, where she put into practice the tips offered by various anonymous users. She then photographed her resulting compositions, creating images that demonstrate, among others, the functional way to store Tupperware, the wheelie bin’s acceptable location, and the right arrangement of postcards on the kitchen’s cork board. In fact, McCullough went to great lengths to find the props and furniture appropriate to the instructions she was following. This included tasks such as visiting thrift shops, browsing eBay’s listings and borrowing a cat from a friend.
‘I typed ‘how to make a home’ into Google, and was directed to an online chat forum in which self-described experts were exchanging detailed instructions. I rented an ordinary suburban house and carried out the strangers’ advice exactly over the period of two months. In complying with the instructions for making the perfect home, I contemplated the construction of an identity from scratch. The following photographs document the end result of my time living and working in the house, trying on different lives for size.’
– Jan McCullough
This book is the winner of the Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award 2015.
Jan McCullough, born in 1991, works and lives in Northern Ireland.
Verlag Kettler are a German publishing house, who pride themselves in combining first-rate, high-quality production with custom design.