Barbara Bloom. A Philosophical Practice

Clip from Jo-ey Tang’s video Borders of Fiction, 2016. Video courtesy of KADIST.

Barbara Bloom finds inspiration for her conceptual practice in ordinary things. She is a collector of household objects, attuned to the often hidden or unseen meanings embedded within visual culture. Her installation The Bedroom (2017), for example, began at a flea market in Paris, where she discovered a set of handpainted watercolors of domestic interiors from the 1960s with colorings and décor so opulent that they struck her as ridiculous. Upon removing the frame and mat of one, she was intrigued to discover that the margin of the paper was dense with exploratory brushwork. The juxtaposition of the expressive gesture and tight, even fussy, decorative interior can be seen in the carpet Bloom custom designed for The Bedroom. Bloom likes the double entendre inherent to objects with both utilitarian and decorative values, like carpet, which slip between the usable and ornamental, the everyday and high art.