Editor’s note: This article was originally published June 25, 2013
“I see it as a sculpture,” says artist Keith Edmier of the meticulous recreation of the 1970s kitchen of his childhood home. “What else is it?”
Using family photographs, family memories, 70s-era Sears catalogs and the sales brochure from his parents’ ranch tract home in suburban Chicago, Edmier contructed “Bremen Towne” a full-size replica of the first floor of the home.
The house’s kitchen is included in “Lifelife” an exhibit organized by the Walker Art Center and now on view at the Blanton Museum of Art
Edmier was in Austin last week to oversee the installation of “Bremen Towne.”
Edmier’s work brings ersatz to a new conceptual level. What he couldn’t source from junkstores or eBay he recreated.
While things such as the kitchen dinette chairs are cast in rubber, the marigold-color appliances are equal parts authentic 70s-era resale finds augmented with recreated bits and pieces.
For the floor, single linoleum tile from the original house was scanned and then laser-etched into composite tiles. When he couldn’t find the orange, green and shiny gold the wallpaper, Edmier sketched out the pattern by hand using family photographs, then had the pattern silk-screened.
“Bremen Towne” is a beguiling work that nevertheless defies nostalgia.
After all, sentimental subjectiveness wasn’t Edmier’s goal.
“I think a kind of literalness is more interesting,” he said.
“Lifelike” continues through Sept. 22. www.blantonmuseum.org