HOME Art Project is an ongoing art project for all residents of Amstelveen and their 139 different nationalities. Stephanie Rhode photographs people from Amstelveen with a white house made of wool. These photos are on display in this pre-exhibition. In doing so, she asks the questions, “What does HOME mean to you? Is it your friends and family, personal belongings or is it perhaps a place in nature or a certain environment that makes you feel at home? In short, what do you associate with HOME?”
Stephanie Rhode studied at the AKI Academy of Art & Design ArtEZ in Enschede in the 1980s. In 1989 she graduated in monumental design. She followed several Artist in Residence, including in Japan, Peru and China. Her work has been exhibited in the Netherlands and abroad and is known for her ephemeral art projects and the universal theme of “home”. Curiosity about other cultures and countries has greatly fueled her work as a visual artist. In this way, she deals with social issues that are visualized in public spaces, museums or in nature. Her work takes various forms, including installations, video, performances, photography and drawings.
When Stephanie Rhode heard that Amstelveen alone has over 139 different nationalities, she realized that this art project could also be carried out ‘at home’ in Amstelveen. After all, about 75% of the non-Dutch nationalities living or residing in our country can be found in Amstelveen.
The art project does not only consist of a photograph but also the feelings and thoughts of the participants. The museum visitors only see the photographed person from the back and thus look along with the person. This perspective is partly inspired by paintings by the German painter Caspar David Friedrich. For Stephanie Rhode, they are “soul paintings”, because the viewer experiences something about the emotional world of the person depicted. Her series of “soul pictures” tells something about the home of the person photographed, without having to spell it out in words.
In her search for interaction and exchange, she has increasingly broadened her view as an artist. Where she initially interacted with those who offered themselves for granted, over time she has sought out those who do not routinely encounter art. She noticed an increasing curiosity about how people from outside her living environment, from other backgrounds, cultures or countries, view her themes and life questions. Different art projects, different experiences and interactions arise each time because of the exchange with different people from different parts of the world. These bring out both the similarities and diversity of people in her work.
After the exhibition at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, the project will also be on display at the Schouwburg in Amstelveen. The final exhibition will take place in the fall of 2023 when she has been able to find and photograph all 139 nationalities. With thanks to Gemeente Amstelveen and Stichting Stokroos.