romaine orthwein photography Series About Contact

Portal Home Looking Glass Spirit

Looking Glass

The Looking Glass series is inspired by my early memories of being and feeling dis-placed and my subsequent longing for a consistent place to call home. My images speak to the connection between place, memory and longing. The work draws on the fascination I feel when I walk past the home of an other and gaze through the window, imagining what it would be like to live in that person's world. The interiors of people's homes, as seen from the other side of their windows, are backdrops, visual theatrical stages of sorts.

In this project I have digitally placed images of myself into each of the (photographed) residences when the occupants were absent. By imagining myself in (or into) these spaces, Looking Glass explores the ambiguous space between the ideal self, the recog┬Čnizable self, and the observed self. Implicit in each image is the tension between my desire to fit into these homes and my difficulty in so doing.

The digital technique of integrating myself into these spaces has not been seamlessly rendered in order to convey the idea that I am unable to fit in or to fully exist within these people's homes. I wish to generate a narrative ambiguity in which the viewer senses displacement and becomes the outsider that I was, when I initially took the image. In this way, Looking Glass engages the observer in the search for that which has been lost, a search, which leads to the question, "What does it mean to belong?"