Rite of Ordinary: Interior Indiana by Rita E. Koehler

Issue 71

Rite of Ordinary: Interior Indiana is a conceptual, photographic documentary that examines the domestic lives of same-gendered couples living in Northern Indiana. The formal perspective of the portraits and the austere economy of the settings investigate how classical space can provide a stage to foreground the scenes of everyday life and how the built environment shapes our sense of self. The couples are placed along an axis, not to render them static, but to suggest a journey in time with a beginning, middle, and an end.

The portraits of these couples reveal more than mere facial expressions. They reveal bodies, furniture, wall decorations, and all the details and appurtenances of one’s identity. Through the assemblage of things that constitute a home, the images lead viewers to work, to speculate, and to challenge the current paradigm of “normal” regarding gender, sexuality, love, home, family, and relationships. The context of where these photographs are taken and how they are being exhibited in public spaces foreground the political stakes for these couples whose lives have had to bear a level of invisibility.

Rita E. Koeher lives and works in South Bend, Indiana.
To view more of Rita's work, please visit her website.

 Kevin and Todd, 2011

Kevin and Todd, 2011

 Kate and Jena, 2011

Kate and Jena, 2011

 Judy and Viki, 2012

Judy and Viki, 2012

 Chris and Josh, 2012

Chris and Josh, 2012

 Jon and Rob, 2011

Jon and Rob, 2011

 David and Kim, 2012

David and Kim, 2012

 Dennis and Kevin, 2011

Dennis and Kevin, 2011

 Robert and Paul, 2012

Robert and Paul, 2012

 Ron and Dennis, 2012

Ron and Dennis, 2012

 Bill and Phillip, 2011

Bill and Phillip, 2011

 Kitchen Pots, 2011

Kitchen Pots, 2011

  Kitchen Curtains with Fruit, 2011

Kitchen Curtains with Fruit, 2011

 Kitchen Bowls, 2012

Kitchen Bowls, 2012

 Orange Kitchen, 2011

Orange Kitchen, 2011

 Bras, 2011

Bras, 2011

 Laundry Room, 2011

Laundry Room, 2011

 Mattress, 2012

Mattress, 2012

 Wrist Watches, 2011

Wrist Watches, 2011

 Wall Hangings, 2012

Wall Hangings, 2012

 Staircase, 2011

Staircase, 2011