The Visual Discourse of 'Home' Through the Ideological Divide

Nicola Foster, Fran Norton

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    By the end of the seventeenth century the hierarchical codification of the genres determined all visual representations of 'home' to be relegated to the genre of 'everyday life' and as such to be kept limited to themes of little public importance. The home became a 'private' space, it was typified as intimate and the viewer often made to feel as an intruder. During the 20th century the presentation of 'home' became the foci of visual discourse by the two competing ideologies: communism in the 'East' and liberalism in the 'West'. Whilst in the 'West' the home was perceived as 'private' in the 'East' it was perceived as 'public' and often conflated with the state. Both articulations proved problematic: in the 'East' there was no place to retire from the public realm whilst in the 'West' 'retirement' for men was at the expense of women's exclusion from the public space.
    The paper will sketch the problematics of both approaches to 'home' looking specifically at China during the Cultural Revolution' (1966-1976) and compared to the USA at the same time. It will proceed to argue that whilst the ideological debate has shifted, elements of the debate are still alive today globally. The 'home' has gained meaning not only as a private and domestic space but also as a 'geo-political' space and the two meanings have become entangled and no less problematic. Hence, the discourse shifted from 'private' on the one hand and 'public' on the other to a concept that brings both together in the context of feminist and migration discourse. It will conclude with the presentation of the 'practice-based' research undertaken by Fran Norton in her exhibition 'The Home I Carry With Me'.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUniversity of Stockholm
    Subtitle of host publicationNarrating Home in Visual Arts Through the East West Divide
    Publication statusUnpublished - 25 Jan 2018


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