Varese Layzer

Households
In Households, I present a series of common objects, often technological tools, and treat them not as as a Pop artist would but as archaeological discoveries imbued with intimacy. They remain small but, through a meticulous printing process, produce a sense of layered time, of a treasured artifact discovered.

Beside them, given almost equal time, I have written essays about each object and its role in my childhood household (telling a story that contrasts with that of the prints). These 16,000 words are almost illegible, carefully handwritten on the same printmaking paper so as to become objects themselves, finally part of family history.

In Households, as in Making Room and Iron Mountain, I show the urban homestead and invite a questioning of ownership: how may we be known through tools we hold? I examine aspects of American middle-class life that remain unchanged over a century and the greater force exerted by the past over the present and the future. How are we defined and confined by what we keep?