Are 812 images really enough to illustrate the kaleidoscopic geography of the home living universe, like an atlas? While they certainly do not exhaust the material, they are a huge help to our imagination, building and narrating, along with words, the heterogeneous topography of the space we inhabit. Herein lies the delightful originality of the work by Chiara Fagone, architect, art historian and critic. Her book Geography of an Interior. Living spaces and artistic research twixt memory and experimentation explores the many-stranded complexity of the interiors we live in.
There is no one way of thinking about the space we inhabit. A room is a frontier, albeit a very tenuous one at times, between interior and exterior; an environment that adapts to suit, a potential refuge, a place where memory, emotions and time become stratified; its perimeter delimits the space and the activities of a person and of the things it collects as a container, the objects and their past. Homes have, always and for everyone, been paramount and an essential point of reference; an anthropological place, a testing ground and a suggestive space.
This is the world the author explores in her search for the ultimate definition of home, through a wide selection of works by the masters of yesterday and today, from Jan Vermeer to Dan Flavin. Rooms, furniture, interiors, architecture make up a conceptual fresco divided into different categories (the room as a microcosm in which to travel, a creative space, the house-museum), the common thread of which is always the ability of artists, designers and architects to allow their own personalities to shine through. The trains of thought that the book brings together – memories of places, the accumulation and collection of objects, frankly disturbing, unsettling or melancholy sensations, the theme of the window and voyeurism, spaces of imprisonment, living to survive and the quest for unusual lifestyles – make for a original and fascinating reading of the world of rooms, a book to dive into and re-emerge laden with inspiration and amazement.