You Can Never Go Home / Jennifer Akkermans

You Can Never Go Home
Jennifer Akkermans
On display beginning Sunday 1 April 2018

Flea Market Gallery

This installation, You Can Never Go Home, reflects the idea of irreconcilable, parallel homes, one that’s here and one that’s there. Themes such as longing and belonging, lost-ness, memory, nostalgia, loneliness, time, place, futility, family, and absence are all present. One wall of the gallery is filled with objects that represent my accumulated, obsessive search for belonging and a sense of home. It is crammed full of lightboxes, handmade houses, tools, building materials, jigs, a cuckoo clock, handmade objects, toys, mementos, suitcases, etc. There are windows and peepholes to look inside of, and still images and videos of rural landscapes and of myself attempting to build a home. There are miniatures, trinkets, material experiments and moving parts—an abundance of curious objects that I have both built and collected. The installation is crowded, raw, with works half-finished and cords tucked in haphazardly, yet it is also carefully arranged. Reminiscent of my grad school studio, it conveys a nervous energy, an anxiety, and a case of horror vacui (the fear of empty space).  As a maximalist, I fill every available space with the things I like, enjoy, and find comforting—things I have collected that make me feel happy and calm.  In a way, I am a bowerbird, creating a nest full of attractive objects that I have amassed in order to protect and insulate myself from the outside world.

In a sense, the works are an accumulation of failures, of my unsuccessful attempts to make myself a new home.  In contrast, one quiet piece, a small, white, rectangular box on the wall allows us access to a very intimate space through a peephole- my studio, where, almost unwittingly, I have made myself a home through the time and effort of all the failed attempts.