“Psychological Interiors” at Tokio Out of Place

Mayumi Terada, Door and hanger 1002 / 2010, 25x40x15cm. Image courtesy of the gallery.

Tokio Out of Place gallery’s new exhibition, curated by Mako Wakasa, is a group show of four New York and Boston-based photographers: Gail Albert Halaban, Lisa Kereszi, Mayumi Terada and Shellburne Thurber. Although very different in style, all the works reference the concept of interiors, real or metaphorical.

Halaban’s city interiors, shot from outside and framed by apartment windows, provide a fishbowl view of New Yorkers’ daily lives. Because these are posed, Halaban’s specific interiors, just like Terada’s symbolic ones, function, first of all, metaphorically. They represent settings for interior-appropriate action, prescribed and already known. Halaban populates her interiors with human actors while Terada depopulates hers, reducing them to the poetic glow of silver gelatin prints. This existential dichotomy is fully realized in the only non-photographic object in the show—Terada’s installation Door and hanger 1002 (2010)—a box with a peephole on one end and a miniature door on the other. As one looks through the peephole, the knowable interior of the box becomes, right before one’s eye(s), a versatile interior.

Although Kereszi’s photographs of the remnants of the US Coast Guard housing ostensibly deal with interiors as well, the abstracted images of what signifies human dwellings (phones, window frames) function first and foremost as motifs.

Shellburne Thurber, Andover, MA: Office with chartreuse analyst’s chair, 2000 Chromogenic print 30 x 30 inches (76.2 x 76.2 cm), edition 1/25. Image courtesy of the gallery.

The fourth artist featured in the show, Shellburne Thurber, is represented with her series of New England’s psychoanalysts’ offices. Ranging in decor but all similarly perfect and inviting, these über interiors exist to eradicate the problems inevitably generated in the process of occupying real interiors: the kind reconstructed by Halaban, reduced to their essence by Terada and used as motifs by Kereszi. Curiously, Thurber’s interiors, by the virtue of being both real and metaphorical, connect the works of the three other artists in the show just as they highlight the paradoxical nature of its concept.

The show is on through November 20.