Analytical Interiors / Abandoned Interiors

Shellburne Thurber

Exhibition Dates: 24 July – 11 September 2004
For her first significant exhibition in London, the distinguished American photographer Shellburne Thurber exhibited a selection of colour prints from two recent series of works. Psychoanalytic Interiors (1998 to present) and Abandoned Interiors (1998 to 2001) continue her documentary approach, which focuses on empty spaces in order to articulate the complexities of the lives of those that pass through them. Psychoanalytic Interiors shows the interiors of a number of different psychoanalyst’s offices in and around Boston in the USA and Buenos Aires in Argentina. These are spaces where intimate information is offered and examined in a private exchange between patient and analyst. In their absence a variety of chairs and couches stand in and the details of décor, pot plants and pictures provide information for analysis. From these observations a portrait can be drawn that reflects class values, power relationships and shows the possibility of intimacy, transference and detachment.

Abandoned Interiors further explore ideas of place and longing. These abandoned rooms where nature encroaches, reveal in the remaining fragments the presence of the families and individuals who previously occupied these spaces. Often featuring doorways and windows, Thurber’s photographs point to a world outside where life continues in contrast to the gently decaying interiors. Documenting the inner life of strangers offers for Thurber a way to intimately connect to others and explore the emotional energy between closeness, distance and the passage of time.

David Risley
Sacha Craddock
Stephen Hepworth
Graham Gussin