A Home in the Universe: Kate McQuillen on Night House

Kate McQuillen, Night House (2015), printed styrene affixed to the facade of a home.

The epistemology of the home is complex. Home is a location that, to quote feminist critic Donna Haraway, makes “claims on people’s lives.”1 It is a physical place in the world as much as a place in discourse. A home conveys return. As a site, it is the beginning and end of a journey. But as a body of knowledge, home resides within us as individuals, a habit of mind. Kate McQuillen’s dreamy, cosmic project, Night House (2015), plays with our instincts about what, and where, is home.

Night House is a print-based work in two parts. The first was a site-specific installation in which large sheets of styrene printed with Hubble Space Telescope photographs were temporarily stapled to the façade of a house in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, in a way that suggested the structure’s dissolution into the night sky. The second is an edition of posters, screenprinted with whimsical inks including glow-in-the-dark, metallic and varnish, sold to fund the installation.

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  1. Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective,” Feminist Studies 14, no. 3 (Autumn 1988): 589. []