Living Room

Floral Side Chair

Living Room is a series of self-portraits on discarded furniture in Toronto’s urban laneways where I worked between 1998 and 2005. Laneways are a hidden and largely uncomposed area of the city where the boundary between public and private space is mutable. This mutability of thresholds creates an uneasy, potent ambiguity. A garage door lifts, revealing a space that opens into another, the backyard. The garage becomes public when the door is raised; or conversely the laneway is privatised when garage contents and occupants expand outside. My presence as a photographer is largely unwelcome, and I am often made to feel as though I am trespassing.

Beige Sofa
Gingham Sofa Bed

Living Room documents a performative occupation of the laneway. Dressed in protective Tyvek coveralls, I seat myself on a stranger’s abandoned furniture and make a record. Through this act, and the framing mechanism of the camera, I create a temporary space — a ‘living room’ — which otherwise doesn’t exist.

Yellow Armchair

Each image in the series is a unique size determined by the scale of the figure, identical in every portrait. I’m interested in drawing attention to the act of composing within the camera, and to subverting the convention of traditional photographic taxonomies that present a suite of images of identical size and scale.

Maroon Armchair
Black Armchair
Beige Cube Chair
Solo Exhibition Lisa Klapstock: Liminal at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Canada, 2005
Contact Photography Festival, Public Installations, Toronto, Canada, 2004

LIVING ROOM, 2000-2004


VARIABLE SIZES, FROM 33 × 33 IN. TO 52 × 52 IN. / 84 × 84 CM. TO 131 × 131 CM.