Katharine Fry, Home Suite, 2008
Home Suite is a new site-specific promenade performance by the artist Kathryn Fry that uses domestic habit and routine to explore ideas of freedom and control.
Commissioned by the Collective, a group of people who buy art jointly to display in their own homes, the work examines how we perceive time and ultimately how we might control it.
In the performances, we watch as a chorus of seven identical females navigate spaces of domesticity on seven days, weaving a narrative arc that describes the evolution of a marriage, its bearing on romance and the effect of both on domestic routine and the role of a housewife.
During the daily absence of the husband, the bloom of romance begins to fade as novelty is confronted by reality and adventure tends to the tedious. Whether to recapture or to forget that which is felt to be slipping away, Home Suite’s characters turn to a new relationship. The home becomes their primary focus, offering its own form of romance, its comforts and rewards. It calls for a full investment, both physical and emotional.But ultimately it betrays. The habits and rituals, chores and routines, the day planned, the details and obsessions, are not life, they are irrelevant to life and distract from living. Conversely, perhaps perversely, they offer a distraction from the fear of discovering there is no longer anything else.
Home Suite is played out in the homes of the Collective. These vary from house to apartment to barge but the story unfolds across the same zones in each, providing a spatial link from site to site. Taking site-specificity to its purest form, nothing can be invented, nothing can be put there that has not been previously chosen and placed by the owners.
Unseen, we follow Home Suite’s characters as their days unravel. At times we are free to roam, whether as part of a group or alone; at others we are held in each room - even seemingly under the characters’ control.
Home Suite and The Collective is supported by the Arts Council England.