Peter Sutherland’s Still House Stills

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Published November 1, 2010

“Art making can be a very ‘solo-‘ activity; it’s fascinating to see how it can work as a group,” says photographer Peter Sutherland, speaking about a group of a dozen rotating twenty-somethings who go by the collective name Still House and convinced a major corporation to loan them a sprawling floor of a huge, eerie building in Tribeca for studios. “There is a certain Lord of the Flies feel in that space,” explains Sutherland, a snapshot photographer fascinated with masculinity and physicality, who captured the young men’s experience in Polaroid film. “Imagine being a young artist and having a floor of a building as your art-club house for six months.”

The young men and one young woman—Alex Perweiler, Isaac Brest, Zachary Susskind, Louis Eisner, Brendan Lynch, Dylan Lynch, Lucien Smith, Grear Patterson, Nick Darmstaedter, Jack Greer, Mike Gigliotti and Jane Mosely—concluded their residency by opening the studio to friends for a community art exhibition, featuring site-specific installations.  “The idea of [almost] free space in Manhattan is almost unheard of,” says Sutherland, who has lived here for 10 years. The studios occupy the former offices of the Department of Transportation, and looks like the set of Resident Evil.  “It feels very raw, the brands aren’t cheesing it up,” says Sutherland. So as with any community project he did his part: “I decided I should at least shoot something to document it.”