Home Bound

“Home Bound” (2016) juxtaposes infinity landscapes with intimate portraits of women at home. The large-scale landscapes offer up open spaces to the viewer. At first sight, they may seem desolate, yet traces of humanity are left behind. Some have been tamed and serve a specific function; others are uninhabited. All are anonymous: water, earth and vegetation take the eye toward an infinite horizon line.
Alongside these are women, photographed at home in various states of undress, who exist in a domestic bubble that both defines and isolates them. Fixed within a frame and ensconced by flat colors that engulf them and the surrounding image plane, they exist in a man-made and proverbial cocoon.

“Home Bound” is a shifting title, simultaneously denoting a sense of direction towards comfort, and a feeling of impasse and immovability, looking at where the familiar and the unknown are charged with opposing emotions: is the domestic space claustrophobic, or are we instead unnerved by the limitless expanse of a barren landscape?

As a woman myself, the uncontained landscapes have come to represent the allure of expansion and the prospect of change. Exciting in their imperfectness, they embody the freedom of the mind to travel undaunted, and are a searing contrast to the vulnerability of the bound woman, trapped in her prescribed role.

Exhibition view at Galerie Janine Rubeiz, Lebanon, 2016
© All rights reserved. Rasha Kahil, 2021