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Taken from the summer issue of Dazed:
Since recreating his childhood home inside a massive warehouse in Sydney, Australian artist Ian Strange has been exploring the idea of the home as his canvas and the suburbs as his gallery. With teams of up to 30 people, the now Brooklyn-based artist has painted giant skulls on to the sides of houses, burned a home to the ground and planted a full-scale building outside a major museum, while his work “Final Act” took him to earthquake-ravaged Christchurch in New Zealand. His team work round the clock, transforming houses into works of art and then capturing it all in photography, film and sound. The result is a visual and aural spectacle that reframes what we call home.
PUMP IT UP, HOMEBOY
“I essentially take the suburban home and saturate its reality, lifting it to the standards of commercial cinema and lighting it professionally with a crew. I like the idea of pushing reality beyond the norm.
For ‘Final Act’, I flew out to Christchurch and met people in the community. As it was a disaster zone, I wanted to make sure I was working sensitively. I met with a cinematographer called Alun Bollinger, who worked on The Lord of the Rings with Peter Jackson. He’s a legend in New Zealand. There were meetings with engineers and demolition experts about what we could actually do to these houses.
It’s an incredibly exciting moment, but also surreal – you’ve been awake for two days straight, and you catch yourself in the middle of a street in Ohio or Detroit with a giant red X or a huge skull painted on a house. More often than not, neighbours will camp out and stay up all night, cooking for us and chatting all day. A lot of raised eyebrows.”
Follow Sally Browne on Twitter here @sallyBee19