Saturday, 25 October 2014
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Who lives in houses like these?

Gazing on the photographs by German artist Heidi Specker, you may ask yourself, Lloyd Grossman-like – ‘who live in houses like these’?

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 6

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv VI, 2010

The answer? Renowned Surrealist artist Giorgio de Chirico and Italian architect Carlo Mollino, it turns out.

Heidi Specker, Piazza Di Spagna 31, Motiv V, 2010

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Piazza Di Spagna 31, Motiv V, 2010

A forthcoming exhibition at London’s Brancolini Grimaldi gallery will showcase Specker’s photographers of the pair’s former homes, taken during a residency in 2010 at the German Academy’s Villa Massimo in Rome.

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 9

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv IX, 2010

During the residency, Specker’s time photographing de Chirico’s strange home aims to reflect the artists’ interest in themes of memory and intellectual legacy.

Heidi Specker, Piazza Di Spagna 31, Motiv II, 2010

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Piazza Di Spagna 31, Motiv II, 2010

The detached aesthetics of the photographs are almost eerie in their stillness, seeing surfaces, objects and buildings isolated from their original context and transformed into new, strange images.

Heidi Specker, Ulimatum Alla Terra III

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Ulimatum Alla Terra III

Alongside interior images, Specker’s lens was also turned to the architecture of Rome, capturing buildings and landmarks in the EUR district of the city. The area was developed in the 1930s by dictator Mussolini, though work wasn’t completed until the 1960s due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv I, 2010

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv I, 2010

The photographs from Mollino’s home, in the series Via Napione 2, look strangely off-kilter – capturing the architect’s eclectic tastes through features such as red velvet curtains, where Mollino photographed a number of different women, and his peculiar butterfly-adorned leopard-print feature wall.

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv X, 2010

Source: © Heidi Specker, courtesy Brancolini Grimaldi

Heidi Specker, Via Napione 2, Motiv X, 2010

Heidi Specker: Termini runs form 1 February – 16 March at Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, First Floor, 43-22 Albemarle Street, London W1S

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