HAUNT, 2020 – 2021 99 pictures, 9 weeks of self-isolation
HAUNT (2020 – 2021) is a project of 99 photos and 99 drawings based on Cheryl Schurgers’ experience of staying 9 weeks in self-isolation in her apartment in Amsterdam. HAUNT began from Schurgers’ desire to capture the essence of her connection to her favorite haunt: her home which is more workspace than living space.
During the first COVID-19 lockdown in the Netherlands in the spring of 2020, she traveled in solitude through her apartment for nine weeks according to the concept of ‘room-travel’ from the 1794 book Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre by Frenchman Xavier de Maistre. This is for finding new sightings in a place familiar to you. During her trip, she had no social contacts and took pictures day and night with limited resources.
The intimate setting of her apartment enhanced the solitary process of being both the photographer and subject of her works. Schurgers’ home allowed her to privately construct a One Room story, referencing clichés in cinematic imagery with a focus on the depiction of female characters. The longer she was alone, the more the fiction she wanted to create became her reality.
HAUNT refers to an animal’s nest, one’s territory, but at the same time the haunted feeling of no distraction from your body and thoughts during isolation. The more she photographed parts of the house, the more she started zooming in to take pictures of her body. Ultimately, our homes become an extension of ourselves and vice versa. When we analyze our homes, it can become a mirror to understand ourselves better.
As museums and galleries remained closed, the pictures of HAUNT were consistently posted to her Instagram feed from April 2020 to April 2021. By sharing these intimate photos of herself on social media, she was still vulnerable to the gaze of others while living in isolation.
The photographs of HAUNT taken during her room travels now became the subject of her marker drawings. Read more about the drawing project here.
The complete series (HAUNT 01 – 99) will be shown in an upcoming publication.