Screening House: film and material representations of the Cold War’s anxieties

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In 1955 Charles and Ray Eames gathered more than three hundred photographs of their Case Study House #8 in the Pacific Palisades to produce the experimental film House: After Five Years of Living. The film is a visual exploration in which craft and found objects contrast with the mass-produced industrial structure of their house, but also a constant tension between the frantic acceleration of its images and moments of slow pace.

Proceeding from a close reading of House: After Five Years of Living, this article analyses its film and editing technique to proposes how domesticity becomes a screen. This means, an ideological surface promoting the cultural, social, and economic changes of the Cold War period, while simultaneously screening out (obscuring) its anxieties, preoccupations, and fears in its mode of visual representation. In the film, the Case study House #8 exposes and covers, promotes and disguises, veiling some preoccupations and motivations while exhibiting an alternative reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-246
Number of pages11
JournalArchitectural Research Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2023

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