HAUNT 22, 2020
Inkjetprint on photo rag paper
HAUNT (2020) is a photography installation of ninety-nine images created by Cheryl Schurgers during nine weeks of self-isolation in her home in Amsterdam. During the first Covid-19 Lockdown between March and May 2020 Schurgers took the opportunity to avoid all social contacts and experience complete solitude for an uncertain time.
In company of just two cats, she took pictures day and night for nine weeks in her distinctive apartment in Amsterdam, which is more work space than living space. Influenced by contemporary ‘one room movies’ along with the concept of ‘room-travel’ from Frenchman Xavier de Maistre’s 1794 book Voyage Autour de Ma Chambre, her apartment was her decor and her belongings and furniture were the only props she could use to enhance her scenes. An exercise on how limitations can open up countless possibilities.
Although she was barred from the physical world outside, her new images have been consistently posted to her Instagram feed since the start of the project for viewers who were quarantined at home. As museums and galleries remained closed, the intention was to give her small online audience access to the process of an artist’s practice, even in strange times like this.
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 installation is a rhythm of images made in different situations within the intimacy of the apartment and shows the repetitive state of mind that Schurgers experienced when she stayed indoors for a long time. The longer she was alone, the more the fiction she wanted to create became her reality.