The work of Australian artist Ian Strange is a mix of installation, photography, sculpture, and architecture. In these site-specific works, Strange will use an entire house as a canvas, filming his efforts to further explore concepts like “home” or “suburbia.” A recent pop-up exhibition of “Suburban” at New York’s Standard Practice Gallery featured large-scale photographs and video that documented his so-called “interventions.”
The installation “Landed” is another ambitious rendition of this idea. The to-scale sculpture of a suburban Australian home sinks into the sand, coated in an ominous black. The work is both striking in its scale and presumed reflection of its crackling, capsizing interior life. That work is located beside the Art Gallery of South Australia, but the gallery’s official statement likens the work of Strange to American-formed ideas, too: “Australia is, after all, like America, a land of the distinctly suburban. But it is what lies beneath the façade of suburbia that Strange brings to light in all of its terrifying intensity.”
Juxtaposed with “Landed,” Strange’s “Final Act” seems somehow more optimistic. In New Zealand, Strange worked with Alun Bollinger to take a handful of houses set for demolition and create light-based installations out of them. Even against bleak circumstances, the fallout of earthquakes that rendered 8,000 houses uninhabitable, Strange offers a hope and newness in the form of these illuminated structures.
In each of these cases, Strange offers a complicated perspective on being “home”—mainly that it doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone.