Laura Kicey: Lonelyhearths and Living Rooms

All photos in this post are © Laura Kicey. Please do not repost without permission and a credit.

“I take the things I see in these places out of their realm and ask the viewer to see what has been overlooked. I prefer to use what I encounter in raw form, creating visual order by giving new context to what I have singled out.”

–Photographer Laura Kicey

Laura Kicey and I both joined the now-thriving shutterbug site Flickr aeons ago when it was still in beta, and Laura hit the ground running. She’s been uploading all manner of strange beauty captured with her camera –from off-kilter self-portraits to innovative “Construct” collage work to ongoing documentation of an abandoned asbestos factory— for several years now. Laura’s also a terrific memoirist, so living vicariously through her stealthy, sometimes dangerous adventures is quite the visceral thrill.

She says “my goal for every image is to build an experience that invokes all the senses as intensely as I witnessed,” and with her astute attention to texture, gradations of color, and composition, she succeeds. Really, the only thing missing is Smell-O-Vision.  (Scratch n’ sniff truck-stop motel charnel, anyone?)

Her portraits of derelict, hollow houses remind me again and again of the creeping, wistful quality of certain passages from House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, or the long, lonely, thriving takes in a Tarkovsky film.

Living Rooms, a series of her photographs of abandoned home interiors, will be showing through the month of January at Café Estelle in Philadelphia. Locals who stop by Laura’s reception today (Friday) between 6 and 9pm will get a chance to meet the flame-haired swashbuckler in person. Pass on a fist-bump from her old chum Theremina, won’t you?

Click below for more haunting images.

All images © Laura Kicey

11 Responses to “Laura Kicey: Lonelyhearths and Living Rooms”

  1. Skerror Says:

    Oh man, can you imagine if Tarkovsky had made it a few more years and directed “House of Leaves”? Sheeeit, looking at these is making me nostalgic for something I know will never exist.

    Wonder how long he would’ve shot the Navidson guy riding his bike in the darkness…

  2. R. Says:

    These are just simply amazing.

  3. Tanya Says:

    Yes, oh YES, definitely YES! (I sound like a Kate Bush song here). This is diviiiiiiiine. This is some of the most beautiful architectural-ish photography I’ve seen in aeons. Thanks, Mer. It’s truly inspiring.

    You also reminded me that I need to contact my friend S. Grabowska, about her photo series that I showed you a while back, the architectural rubble setting the stage for human form. Maybe she has new stuff that I can send over Coilhouse way.

    I agree with the Tarkovsky comparison. I penned some thoughts about his interiors, a while back, after seeing “Zerkalo.” I have some YouTube clips up on my post.

  4. Slackety Pants Says:

    Oh… my… god… Those photos made me sigh wistfully. Thank you! What beautiful work!

    You’re amazing, Mer.

    S. Pants

  5. Io Says:

    These are fantastic! I especially love the dreamy quality of the first two shots after the jump.

    Living in the South, there are tons of abandoned homes here. In fact, within a 2 mile radius of where I live, I’ve discovered at least 15 back in the woods or just off the road and begun exploring and photographing them (though not as artistically as this).

    Most are 1920’s- style shotgun homes, but a few were mansions built sometime during the 1800’s as evidenced by the lack of electrical outlets and fireplaces in every room. In some, there are old suits hanging from the walls, Sear’s catalogs from the 1930’s, suitcases — it’s amazing.

    Sadly, a few have become crack houses (like the one Aaron Hawks shot me and Kellie Laplegua in — the last place you want to be naked) and are dangerous for reasons other than rotting floors, but others make you feel as though you’ve been transported through time.

  6. Tequila Says:

    Love these…especially that last one. All very dreamlike but so comforting and fun. One wants to LIVE there not just visit…

    @Io…that reminds me of a few places in Mexico. Only people still lived in the places…it was a strange mix of the very old, bits of new, and just a look of lived in decay. It was beautiful to see…very much an organized chaos. You see the same in parts of South America too.

    I saw bits of that shoot you and Kellie did…great stuff. The houses looked amazing!

  7. CamyLuna Says:

    Beautiful. I’ve always thought that abandoned places lead secret lives. Her pictures prove it.

  8. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Very nice!

    p.s. I never wanna see the words “scratch n’ sniff” and “truck stop” used in tandem, again.


  9. Io Says:

    Tequila: I’d especially love to see those places in South America, as I love the idea of the old juxtaposed against the new as seen through a different cultural lenses.

    Some great photographer out there just needs to travel the world photographing abandoned homes — from the Southern US to Chernobyl.

  10. rickie Says:

    i love these type of photos, these type of areas. i always feel a need to take pictures of things like this, but my photos are always discarded by others because they aren’t happy portraits of people.

  11. Lauren P. Says:

    I love these so much. I have been putting House of Leaves into image search images trying to get images to give me more inspiration so that I can make a sculpture series based on the book House of Leaves. These photographs are truly inspiring!