Desquamation #1 (2022)


My response to this week’s Kick-About prompt – an observation by Gaston Bachelard’s observation on the true dimensions of a house – was in part, inspired by a recent re-watch of Street of Crocodiles by The Brothers Quay, a stop-motion animated short in which the miniature world on screen is characterised by its grime, dust, and catalogue of discarded, forgotten things.

Street of Crocodiles always puts me in mind of my student house when I was at art college, a rather grim affair of fractured linoleum, black mold, and an upright hoover that seemed to produce dust rather than consume it. ‘Desquamation, deriving from the latin word desquamare, meaning ‘to scrape the scales off a fish’, is the word describing the shedding of our skin. None of us like to think too long or too hard about what comprises the dust collecting on the surfaces of our homes, but to watch Street of Crocodiles is to fairly relish in the stuff...’ or so I have written previously, and it was with this in mind, I settled upon my idea: to visit some of the less pristine surfaces in my own home, and with the aid of a tiny, but blazing light source, illuminate these spaces that also speak to the truth of habitation.

Featured here are those sites of domestic shame: the grill pan, the unwashed hob, the dust-bunnies under the bed and behind the door, the stray hairs, beard-based or otherwise, once connected, now disembodied and abject, and also the cropping up of balls of bright red fluff, from my socks I think, but as widely dispersed as spores.



6 thoughts on “Desquamation #1 (2022)

  1. I think they’re fabulous. I think the oven in the later post, is my favourite. (I’m a terrible housekeeper too. You don’t even need to be lying on the floor with a strong light to see the piles of dust in the corners of our rooms. I keep waiting for a little seedling to start growing somewhere.)

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