Somewhere To Disappear

Cave Home_Broken Manual_Alec Soth 2008

^ Cave Home_Broken Manual 2008, by Alec Soth via spaceframed

 

In this hyper-connected world of control technologies, the desire of hiding is still very human. Either as a result of social exclusion, marginal lifestyles, anti-mainstream behaviors, political statements, existential meditations, religious beliefs, economic difficulties or utopian experiments, it is always interesting to look at the shelters that house such aspirations of disconnection from the network society.

The mysterious case of that middle-aged Japanese woman who was living in the cupboard of a random person’s home for several months without him noticing perfectly fits in one of these life experiences. Even if the media do not agree on the actual length of the period she spent sneaking in and out of the cupboard, together with the dubiously believable choreography on the viral video and its different versions (probably fakes), it is stunning to see such waste spaces converted into dwelling environments.

The film Somewhere To Disappear featuring photographer Alec Soth’s visual approach to shelters from this world provides a brilliant journey into otherness and the way we create the boundary between normality and Foucauldian abnormality :

“For his project, «Broken Manual» the photographer Alec Soth traveled across America looking for people who’ve retreated from
society. Some live in mountain cabins, some in caves, others in the desert. It is through Alec’s eyes that we try to understand why
those modern hermits want to escape. The photographer shows us a new fantasy, the dream to disappear.”

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^ Stills from Somewhere To Disappear, a film by Laure Flammarion and Arnaud Uyttenhove with Alec Soth, 2010. 57 min.

 

 

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