James Casebere


This model started out as the back end of a larger model I built based on a monastery in France. I added water. I floated the beds down the middle and shot it with a 20x24 Polaroid camera at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. It was the first one I shot with water, but I'm flooding all the models now. The work I am showing at Sean Kelly Gallery in the spring will be a combination of dark, subterranean, industrial spaces and very elegant aboveground domestic interiors. Water fills every room. I started working on this scale twenty-five years ago, but it wasn't until about 1995 that the models started to look convincingly like big spaces. I guess I've been trying to work in that space between what is real and what is not—where it's not about recognizing it first as a construction. The space feels grand and intimate at the same time. I like to create different sensations: claustrophobia; dread; the fear of being trapped; and with water, the feeling of being swept away, or the fear of drowning. On the other hand, there's a feeling of hope, expansiveness, movement, and potential escape.