A Place of Work
this is a two and a half minute video of a house in which i was a lodger from the time i moved back to the UK until a year an a half ago. the flat, which was the basement of an enormous georgian house in which the landlords lived, was in zone two but with its blue and white floor tiles and matching crockery, it was always more norfolk cottage than se5. at the time of filming my kitchen, I had been thinking and writing a lot about ideas of domesticity, inhabitation, and cohabitation, especially in film. all the while, the romantic and domestic relationship I was then in was ending.
then and since then, I’ve returned, again and again, to margaret tait’s ‘a place of work’, which is a close study of a house, garden, and what can be seen from its windows over a six month period. now that i have read and watched more widely, this piece reminds me of a lot of creative work that is formed under the conditions of one constraint or another: renee gladman’s ‘calamities’, ‘a year from today’ by stacy szymaszek, xiao xiao’s film ‘turtle rock’. part of what draws me to this way of working is that it produces something almost metabolic in pace, that neither seeks nor avoids crisis but rather situates it in the context of the everyday: daffodils waiting to open, sunlight moving across the back of a chair, soap bubbles quietly popping in a silver sink.
– cornelius prior