Safe Space

Published November 17, 2015

STILL FROM SAFE, 1995. PHOTO: TODD HUGHES.

Todd Haynes’s 1995 film Safe remains one of the most provocative and unnerving cinematic depictions of alienation and silent fear. Starring Julianne Moore as Carol White, an affluent San Fernando Valley housewife besieged with a debilitating, undiagnosable allergy, Safe seduced audiences as an ambient horror film and a veiled metaphor for issues ranging from the AIDS epidemic to climate change. Now, two decades after its release, the Manchester, U.K., art space Home unveils “Safe,” a group exhibition curated by Sarah Perks and Louise O’Hare. The two used Haynes’s film as the springboard for a series of commissions in sculpture, moving image, writing, performance, and print. Works include Yoshua Okón’s short film depicting discarded iPhones, laptops, and TVs and an audio piece from Chris Paul Daniels, all of which deconstruct the psychology of the suburban dream and the tenuous clash of public and private life. Per Perks, “The film is not about finding a cure; it is more about the symptoms and a general sickness in society.”