Houses, Homes, and the Horrors of a Suburban Identity Politic

  • Jaclyn Meloche


My research on Montreal-based artist Isabelle Hayeur’s body of work Model Homes (2004–2007)—a series of photographs that depict new housing developments in and around Montreal—is inspired by the ways in which Chandra Talpade Mohanty understands notions of home, more specifically, how the architecture of a house (versus a home) informs a person’s identity as well as a community’s identity. In Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity, Mohanty parallels her desire to belong and be “at home” with the political challenges of being an Other, a woman, a woman of color, and a woman from a different race in the West. In the context of my research on Hayeur’s photographs, this thesis shares a similar understanding that the space of place, the space of home, and the space of belonging ultimately perform the body. In comparison to Aristotelian and Heideggerian models that consider place to be the sole agent in the study of space, human geography, which draws from methods of poststructural analysis, frames space in relation to the body as a dialogical force. Thus, through this lens, Hayeur’s model homes become postmodern portraits of homes-turned containers that in “Houses, Homes, and the Horrors of a Suburban Identity Politic” construct the suburban body.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaclyn Meloche
    • 1
  1. 1.Art Gallery of WindsorWindsorCanada

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