Eva Bartussek

Eva Bartussek’s ‘Horse House’ (2005) depicts a (once comfortable and elegant) house in a state of domestic meltdown and highlights the camera’s function as a passport or calling card – here giving access to, and engagement with, an exotic reality lurking behind the veneer of middle-class respectability. A home both to people and horses, Bartussek’s series presents tableaux of chaos and degeneration, the result of a process that the uninitiated viewer can only guess at, but which conveys a palpable sense of desperation and psychological dislocation.

Through a long-term engagement with the personal obsessions and the chattels of middle class existence – framed prints (of horses) and floral print wallpaper on the one hand, flaking plaster, mud smeared tile floors and accumulated rubbish on the other, Bartussek creates a landscape populated only by horses. If absence can underline presence, however, she has successfully achieved her intention of creating a ‘portrait’ of the human occupant(s) of the house – who remain tantalisingly out of sight – and the proud, traditional and equine-centred life they lead or led.