Book Review: Home Sweet Home by Rubi Lebovitch
By Karolina Sotomayor
As a child I often used to visit my grandfather’s house, he lived with his two single sisters, and amongst the many eccentric and secret rooms in the house, I remember feeling extremely confused by one of them in particular. It was the ‘fancier’ living room of the house; all of the furniture in it was covered with plastic wrap from the store. I should point out that my fascination with this room stemmed from only being able to enter it three times in my life, but the feeling of sitting in plastic-covered seats was not only uncomfortable but also slightly unsettling. I wouldn’t say my grandfather or his sisters were insane for doing this, but they seemed to love that living room so much that everything in it had been left just the way it had arrived from the store, and it didn’t seem to bother them as much as it did me.
Looking at Rubi Lebovitch’s series Home Sweet Home is somewhat like looking at a reflection of the dark secrets we only let out when in the comfort of our own homes. From the grotesque to the absurd, Lebovitch alters ordinary objects of the home with an inherent theatricality to confront us to the reality of our humanity and our relationship with the objects we possess.
The residences featured in Lebovitch’s book set the home as the place where we have (or believe to have) complete control of in every aspect. The series revolving mostly around objects challenges the idea that our homes are always our safe haven. The pictures require careful inspection; seemingly ordinary objects could be hiding an uncanny irregularity like the bookshelf (Books, 2010) with all the book titles facing the wall or like my grandfather’s living room, a TV (2015) covered in plastic wrap.
Two poems and a short introduction by Eran Bar-Gil and an analytical essay by Crista Dix precede Lebovitch’s selection of images for the book. Home Sweet Home is a humorous yet obscure invitation to question our own strange behaviors and secrets kept safe behind the doors of the place we call home.
Article © Karolina Sotomayor