photography | Prayogo Yoedo
art direction & text | Allysha Nila
As people spend more time on their own at home and less with others outside, we naturally find ourselves reconnecting with physical objects to fulfil our need for intimacy. In their quiet, previously unnoticeable little ways, household items are shaping our increasingly interior, private world. The mundane, accumulated, discarded, ubiquitous and forgotten are all coming to life—and we now finally have the room to witness it.
The images you’re seeing on these pages have been captured in their habitat at home—although not entirely “natural” since the objects have been moved from their actual and precise dwellings to be photographed.
Creating this series was like partaking in an indoor scavenger hunt: as the lights and backdrop were being set up for the shoot, we peeked under the stairs, searched the garage, and rummaged through the kitchen in search of curious, natural phenomena to then transfer into a more sterile environment. We noticed a few things: a spider has chosen a corner of the living room to spin its web and there are plenty of heat cracks on the walls in the hallway. There were also situations borne out of human activity: we discovered many boxes in the shoe cabinet were filled with a smorgasbord of random stuff; a trail of rice is stuck on the surface of the dining table from lunch. However, the things that we decided to capture were more intangible: the beauty of soaps losing their shape through air, the artefact quality of an aged remote control, the short life of cheap electronic cables, the domesticity of keeping receipts in jars, the poignant romance of melted candles, the futileness of irreparable broken light bulbs, the doom of foreign change that’s unlikely to be used any time soon, and the dependency society has on medicine. Or perhaps that’s just us overthinking this whole thing.
As a result, this pictorial is part documentation of our observations of our humble abode and part exercise in using our imagination to translate what the material world has to say to us—contemporary archaeology, if you will. An inextricable error to our human condition is our tendency to misinterpret and overlook what has been truly going on. Yet as life happens before us, objects are the ones that hold truths so often right before our eyes; incredibly close and we just don’t see it. Most of our lives are spent at the office, going from cafe or restaurant to bar, traveling from city to city, in constant flux. But as our need for comfort grows simultaneously with the itch to escape, the home has become fertile ground for this compromise. Our homes are going through a devolution of sorts as they return to the original role of being nests and sanctuaries, rather than a “pit stop” which postmodern life has rendered it to be.
At a time greatly affected by not only a pandemic, but also an info-demic, objects lend us its power to allow us a closer reflection of everything going on around us and within us. It’s an intimacy rarely ever experienced previously, and it’s proved to be a comforting one in an anxiety-ridden world. You don’t leave, but you can certainly travel. You’re physically here, and your mind can drift elsewhere, or visit the places where your attention should be paid.