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The Room Project  image

The Room Project
İstanbul Modern
5 May - 30 August 2009

The İstanbul Modern Photography Gallery is exhibiting photographs taken in nine cities in nine countries by Annette Merrild, who says her aim is to show the differences and similarities among national cultures. Merrilds show, called "The Room Project, opened on May 9th and will run until August 30th. Curated by Engin Özendes, the exhibition consists of 118 photographs. One adage has it that if you want to get to know the world, you need to start with your neighbor. Photographer Annette Merrild takes that advice to heart in "The Room Project, in which she turns her lens on stereotypes about people in our own and other countries that have become engraved in most of our minds. Rooted in the feelings of alienation that she experienced while a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, the four-year undertaking got started with photographs that Merrild took in the living rooms of neighbors living in the same buildings as she did first in Hamburg and then in New York and Copenhagen. Inspired by peoples reactions to the images that shed captured, she created "The Room Project as a result. Over the next two years, she visited Warsaw, Barcelona, Tallinn, Lyon, Manchester, and Istanbul undertaking, as she put it, a sort of "anthropological voyage from one end of Europe to the other. Using her camera, the artist captured images–"social portraits– of the interiors of peoples homes. In many ways, her pictures resemble the still-life studies that used to be popular among artists. Like still-lifes, the artist shows us the artifacts of human existence –in this case, fixtures and furnishings– but not the people themselves.

"A sort of anthropological voyage from one end of Europe to the other"

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