Termites are behind these surprising house wraps
Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Pier Av_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Pier Av_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Pier Av_

A growing number of houses in many neighborhoods in Los Angeles are experiencing a termite problem. Fumigators shroud these houses with vinyl tarps that are brightly colored. These shrouded houses had caught the eyes of Randi Malkin Steinberger who started seeing these houses in Southern California when he settled there in the early 1990s.

In her eyes, the tented houses suddenly became enigmatic monuments and sculptural abstractions that had been put in the midst of the ordinary streets. Over time, as she came close to these tented houses, she started thinking of something -the beauty in the abstract structure. Knowing that the houses could be undraped at any time, she decided to be carrying her camera and pulling aside to take a photo of them. This curiosity later developed to a time of meditation on concealment and disclosure and both anti-home and home.

The draping is done to keep the poison within the walls of the houses so that it kills all the termites. The houses are deemed to be dangerous although they risk being ransacked by burglars. The No Circus series brings together all these risks including burglary given that some of the burglars die when they come to steal. The work also posts the uncertainty with the tented building as most of the fumigated houses end up being sold soon after the fumigation. Randi does not forget to include the destructive nature of the termite infestation and likely result.

Randi says that these structures are not mere color flashes in California. They are ubiquitous. She tries to refashion what the tented house really is and its strangeness so that the houses are not ignored at all. Since everyone takes a second glance at the houses, Steinberger decided to make these structures part of her public art display thanks to her curious and obsessive eyes.

D.J. Waldie has added essays on all the 69 images of No Circus. The essays range from the phenomenology that strikes the shrouded structures, the chemistry behind fumigation, and the mating habits of the termites. In one of the piece, he says that shrouded houses haunt themselves. Every piece of furniture improvises what needs to use it. The bed improvises a sleeper, the door a figure to walk through it and the chair a sitter. He adds that every house needs to be occupied by a dreamer. When the dreamer is not there, the house is neglected. These are pieces worth looking at.

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, 4th st_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, 4th St_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, 7th St 2_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, 7th St 2_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, 7th st_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, No Circus, 7th st_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Berkeley St 2_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Berkeley St 2_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Berkeley st_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Berkeley st_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Bienveneda av_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Bienveneda av_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Montana Av
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Montana Av

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Ocean Front Walk_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Ocean Front Walk_

Randi Malkin Steinberger - No Circus, Riviera av_
Randi Malkin SteinbergerNo Circus, Riviera av_

 

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