Photographer Varese Layzer has found a welcoming home for her collection Making Room, photographs that document her experience of clearing out her childhood home after her mother’s death. Nine months ago, the collection was removed from its promised (and contracted) display at Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco’s Mission district, because the cafe’s owner thought that the subject matter was “too serious” for a cafe.
At that time, Layzer told SevenPonds: “People’s discomfort with the honest, difficult events of the lifecycle dictates most things they do! Including taking down art statements.”
The request from Ritual that the collection be removed caused a brief stir around the Bay Area with and prompted conversation about society’s comfort with the issues surrounding death and loss.
The collection is in good company now, on display at Krowswork gallery as part of the exhibition “Illuminations,” a collection of works that each attempt a poetic assessment of a space for which the artists must take responsibility following the passing of a family member.
The photographs of Making Room are joined by installation by RKDB (Bob Beier) focused on a dilapidated Ohio Victorian, and video by Julia Shirar exploring a South Texas town.
“Illuminations” will be on display at Krowswork, 480 23rd Street, Oakland, California from March 31 through April 28, 2012.
Read my full reaction to the Ritual event and see more artwork by Varese Layzer here.