Home Alone Together, 2020

Curated by : S. Billie Mandle and Dr. Aaron Rosen

Home Alone Together is both an exhibition and a journal. Through the eyes of twenty-five artists around the world—from their 20s to their 90s—it explores the shared, bounded environment in which people across the world now live.

Quarantine is quickly redefining and reconfiguring how people experience home. It can be a space of refuge—representing safety from a nebulous, deadly threat—but also something of a pressure cooker. We are all caught up in a strange experiment of uncertain duration. Even those fortunate enough to escape direct loss and trauma are being forced to reckon with new realities—economic, emotional, spiritual—from the (dis)comfort of their own home.

In this unsettled moment, artists can help draw our experience into focus. Every week over the course of three months, participating artists contribute one photograph from a different room of their home. Together, these photographs—whether taken in a kitchen or bedroom, the world outside the window, or even the virtual space of technology—will articulate a new, collective picture of home.

We hope this project will create an opportunity to locate something of that quality Gaston Bachelard called “intimate immensity.” What we see has become limited, but not how we see. When the pandemic subsides and we re-enter the world, perhaps our way of seeing will have changed along with us. Maybe we will be more prepared to encounter transcendence, even—perhaps especially—in the mundane.

Joyce Yu-Jean Lee is curious about how the act of seeing is transformed by technology; her Manhattan quarantine photographs expand viewers’ attentions to contemplate stillness and the optics of light.