Please excuse the mess (things are a bit upside down)

Please excuse the mess (things are a bit upside down) is a site specific installation in the Los Angeles home of curator, Amy Thoner, as part of the series PDA (Private Domestic Acts). Considering Thoner's apartment through a filmic lens as the home of a single, free-spirited woman, a remote echo of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant shimmers through this space and the objects found within it. Its meandering open plan, some architectural similarities, and the abundance of mirrors prompted Seder to recall this melodramatic–while austere–1972 Fassbinder film about love, loss, (sexual) power, vanity, and material desire. "Please excuse the mess. Things are a bit upside down" is a line spoken by the film's narcissistic protagonist upon welcoming an unanticipated female guest (and future romantic obsession) into her bedroom space, where the entirety of the film takes place.


For Seder, a domestic space can be considered a “set”, its objects providing clues to the traits and aspirations of the characters living within it. In Thoner’s apartment, Seder focuses on these objects while conflating one set with the other, loosely mashing up strategies of doubling and mise-en-abyme in the process.  In the Fassbinder film, for example, a giant blowup of Poussin’s mythological painting Midas and Bacchus looms large in Von Kant’s open-plan bedroom amongst a fanciful brass bed, decadent shag carpet, tea service and liquor-ware. Here in Seder’s “set”, an equally huge still from the film hovers over the kitchen amongst now absent books and personally significant artifacts. Keeping in mind the emotional currency of these artifacts, Seder requested they all be completely removed from the space, leaving in place the furniture while only photographic traces of a few scant objects remain. Placed within this altered emptiness, the interrelationships of Seder’s photographs open up a new and ethereal fantasy space.


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