Patty Carroll : Domestic Demise


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Patty Carroll was Adjunct Full Professor Photography at SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) until 2014, after teaching photography in various universities since 1972. Education includes BFA, University of Illinois, and MS in Photography, Institute of Design, IIT. Selected Grants/Prizes include 2003 Artist Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, 2011 Art-Takes-Miami, Photography, 2014 & 2017 Photolucida Critical Mass: Top 50, and many others.


SKU: 001151 Category: Tag:


Title :
Domestic Demise

Text By:
Bruce Thorn, Patty Carroll

Details :
Edition Size 500
9″ x 9″, 96 pages,
Hard Cover, Perfect Bound
ISBN : 978-1-944005-39-9
Published by : Aint–Bad
Spring 2020


About :

My work is about entangling women and home, leading to the phrase “housewife.” The photographs in “Anonymous Women: Domestic Demise” comment on the mania of collecting, accumulating, and decorating a home, where the objects take over, and the woman is surrounded and/or crushed by her own possessions and obsessions, leading to disaster, mishaps and mayhem. All of the still-life, narrative photographs are reimagined interior spaces of rooms filled with décor and objects, engulfing a lone figure of a woman, camouflaged with only bits of her visible. She is both a victim of her obsessions, activities and circumstances as well as the invisible creator of such; both satisfying and problematic, pathetic and humorous, silly and serious. The sequence of the book follows her path from glee to gloom, where her domestic activities take a dark turn, until the Anonymous Woman is wedged into the walls of her home.

My influences come from many sources; colorful vintage movies, traditional still-life paintings, decorating magazines, a suburban upbringing, the game of clue, victorian writing, etc. My intention with the work is to bring attention to unseen heroic women who silently run a home, family, and often careers. The figure symbolizes so many women, no matter what culture or background, with roots in consumer culture and how we use objects to provide continuity and tradition, yet how possessions can substitute for identity. While humor is prevalent in these narratives, the message behind them has darker implications about the role of women in all societies.