Home Stills by Bastienne Schmidt

Issue 64

The home is often the perfect stage for domestic bliss and self-observation. The artist, Bastienne Schmidt, challenges this domestic utopia in her conceptual series ‘Home Stills’ in which she photographs herself as a stand-in in the role of a Housewife.

Schmidt gives a visual interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s idea of ‘a room of one’s own’. She follows Highway 27 on Long Island, from Patchogue to Easthampton, recreating her interiors from cheap motel rooms to upscale Hampton’s mansions as imaginary rooms of her own. The sense of quiet meditation reminds one of Vermeer’s interiors and the melancholy and empty spaces of Edward Hopper. There is always an element of an escapist and sometimes ironic fantasy looming in these women’s heads. At the end of these imaginary stories there is always a car close by, that one could hop in and drive away.

Bastienne Schmidt is a German/American artist who has exhibited nationally and internationally for over 20 years.  Schmidt works as a multi media artist. She studied in Italy and grew up in Greece and Germany. Her work can be found in many museums’ collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the International Center of Photography, The Victoria and Albert Museum and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C.  She has published 5 monographs: VivIr la Muerte , American Dreams, Shadowhome , Home Stills and most recently Topography of Quiet.

Schmidt ‘s first project Vivir la Muerte was shown in a one person exhibition at the International Center of Photography in New York. She was arwarded the Kodak Prize in Germany for Vivir La Muerte. She received a George Soros grant to document how Americans deal with death and dying. Her project Shadowhome won best  Best Photo Book Prize in Germany and was exhibited in a one person exhibition at the Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany in 2005. Her last project Home Stills was shown in a one person exhibition in the Southeast Museum of Photography in 2010, the Houston Center for Photography  and the Manege Museum in St.Petersburg, Russia in 2012.

Bastienne Schmidt works and lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, NY.
To view more of Bastienne's work, please visit her website.

Support Fraction and buy the book, Home Stills here

  The Red Dress, Sagaponack, 2008

The Red Dress, Sagaponack, 2008

  The Money Counter, Bridgehampton, 2008

The Money Counter, Bridgehampton, 2008

  Hoppers Light, Bridgehampton, 2005

Hoppers Light, Bridgehampton, 2005

  The Laundry Spiral, Bridgehampton,2008

The Laundry Spiral, Bridgehampton,2008

  The Laundry and Mac Mansions, Bridgehampton, 2008

The Laundry and Mac Mansions, Bridgehampton, 2008

  Silhouette of a House, Bridgehampton, 2009

Silhouette of a House, Bridgehampton, 2009

  The Aquarium, Paradise Island, 2004

The Aquarium, Paradise Island, 2004

  The Turquoise Room, Samos, 2009

The Turquoise Room, Samos, 2009

  Strings Attached, Bridgehampton, 2009

Strings Attached, Bridgehampton, 2009

  The Yellow Dress, Patchogue, 2006

The Yellow Dress, Patchogue, 2006

  The Vacuum Cleaner, Bridgehampton, 2006

The Vacuum Cleaner, Bridgehampton, 2006

  How to Become a Citizen, Islip, 2010

How to Become a Citizen, Islip, 2010

  The Mall, Patchogue, 2004

The Mall, Patchogue, 2004

  The Yellow Car, Bridgehampton,2006

The Yellow Car, Bridgehampton,2006

  House and Field.Bridgehampton,2008

House and Field.Bridgehampton,2008

  Julian and his Lego, Bridgehampton,2005

Julian and his Lego, Bridgehampton,2005

  The Red Skirt, Samos, 2006

The Red Skirt, Samos, 2006