Domestic Affairs

Katayoun Amjadi

Domestic Affairs investigates the idea of home in body, structure, and land, and explores the culturally embedded promise of security and hope engendered in the archetypal house. It explores a conceptual topography of “place”; it is a kind of domestic archaeology.

The exploration of the concept of home can reveal deeply ambiguous and complex phenomena: its interface with identity, its connections to security vs. openness to difference and other, it can embody the sense of inclusion/exclusion, freedom/incarceration, movement/entrapment, displacement and belonging.

We tend to map the contours of security and safety onto the image of home as a protective refuge, a shelter from the storm, as if they were the essential constituent parts of making a home. If so, then what becomes of the homeless, the unmooring of the subjects of exchangeable labor, the children born into diaspora, those that live in the cracks, fissures and shadows of the world; what happens to those consigned to forage through the wasteland of broken promises? What happens when we live in fear or hatred of otherness, homelessness, of alterity?

Helter Shelter, 2018
Copper tubing, emergency blankets, needle and thread, video projection
3’ 6” x 5’ x 7’

This work explores the contours of home as the protective refuge and sheltering eave, and the promise of security and hope engendered in the archetypal house. Yet it is conflated with the vulnerability of the body, skin and bones: fragile, naked, and exposed. As the world’s history of conflict falls like rain, a rift is sewn then torn again, a roof breached with the pulsing light of the rockets glare, the sirens of emergency ring. This always closer than you imagine.

Blues of the Glad Tree, 2018
Poplar tree, oil barrel, Persian blue paste, welding rods, sand
6’ x 6’ x 9’

This work ties the tree in our yard to global dominion. The sheltering shade troubled by the dislocation of the sour root and bitter fruit.

It’s a Thin Line Between, 2018

The line separates or binds: a balance point, a hinge, a margin of safety or distance to fear. It’s a fine line between there or here.

House Charms and Oven Charms, 2018
Home Inside Out at Gallery 71

Cart, 2017

To see more images from this collection and others, visit Amjadi’s website.

Suggested citation:
Amjadi, K. 2020. “Domestic Affairs.” AGITATE! 2: