does not return our gaze What does "House does not return our gaze but confronts it with the muteness of lives lost forever" mean? Does it mean "the house does not give a meaningful answer to our gaze but in return replies to it with the silence of the lives that lived is that place some time" i.e. "it does not give us an answer that we expect but absorbs our gaze and gives us a sad feeling of death"? Context: Most obviously in House, 1993, where Whiteread cast a Victorian terraced house in concrete, the result being a disorienting inside-out world where an inverted interior in which recesses protrude becomes the outer face of the building, creating a poignant monument to loss and decay and ultimately death. The uncanny sensibility of the work derived from its (temporary) preservation of the past in concrete, the opacity of the material creating inverted windows which, in refusing to operate as limpid eyes into a well-lit interior, allude to the crypt-like nature of being buried alive in the gothic stories of Edgar Allan Poe. House does not return our gaze but confronts it with the muteness of lives lost forever.
Nov 6, 2019 1:02 PM
Answers · 2
Art criticism writing like this can be very difficult to understand. But here is my interpretation: The House reminds of of death because it is a casting of a Victorian-era house; the house’s original occupants therefore are long-dead. The house does not “return our gaze” because its windows are not transparent and thus not like real eyes that can look back; rather, the concrete castings of the windows look like decorations on a crypt, further reminding us of death.
November 6, 2019
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November 6, 2019
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