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Ruins and madness

David Craig, 2004
First published in the New Zealand Journal of Photography, Number 55, Winter 2004: 12

Gothic inversions and displacements: Ruins, madness and domesticated modernism in some recent NZ architectural photography

Invention has not been wanting; but the great resources of fancy have been dammed up, by a strict adherence to common life. But if… Nature has cramped imagination, she did but take her revenge.
Horace Walpole, Castle of Otranto, 1764.
I get unreasonably angry with John sometimes. I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive. I think it is due to this nervous condition… I don’t like our room one bit. I wanted one downstairs that opened onto the piazza, and had roses all over the window, and such pretty old fashioned chintz hangings. But John would not hear of it. He said there is only one window and not room for two beds, and no near room for him if he took another.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper, 1892

Introduction: Cramped domestic imaginations

An 1810 satire by E. J. Pitt offered a recipe for turning a Gothic novel into a nineteenth century realistic novel:

“From any romance to make a novel. Where you find—

A castle,
………Put a house
A cavern,
………A bower
A bloodstained dagger,
………A fan
A knight,
………A gentleman without whiskers
A lady who is the heroine,
………Need not be changed, being versatile.
A midnight murder,
………A marriage”1

Pitt’s inversion trick is more than hermeneutic acrobatics, at pop fiction’s expense: this inversion has the makings of a neat Marxish turning of a grotesque Hegelite idealist phantasmagoria on its head, in order to show up a whole secret material history of gender, family, and public/private culture. Invert it again in the here and now, resubstituting the domestic modern with contemporary NZ provincial Gothic sublimes, and what’s apparently reasonable, modern everyday culture can become a dismal but ripe code, readable in terms of regional filmic and representational grotesque perversities: the dark displacements of film work from ‘In My Father’s Den’ (and even Lord of the Rings) to, as in this essay, some recent ‘provincial gothic’ architectural photography from Ann Shelton, Allan McDonald and Gavin Hipkins.

The conceit that Gothic romance, with its ‘trappings’ of ‘ruins, graves, dark enclosures, madness, even the sublime’,2 is the obverse side to domesticated modernity, is well established. And a bit more complex (three-sided in fact) in its ‘othering’ inversions. For example, ‘Female gothic’3 is widely regarded as the anti-modernist ‘other’ of masculinist enlightenment rationality, both in the latter’s most instrumental form- industry and the machine- and in the Industrial Revolution’s more public ‘other’, the Romantic, or liberal revolution. This three sided ‘othering’ runs, as above, through most of the common tropes: (1) the (Romantic) exotic ruin as the other of the public fortress of masculine security (empire, the castle) and of the domestic commonplace/failed romance house or closed in room in say Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper; (2) the interior of death and confined madness against the public appearance of neat scaled domestic normality, and the public, ‘out there’ rational role of the male breadwinner. And, the grotesque as abject, homely/unhomely, yet still a sibling of hegemonic (modernist/masculinist) success, and so on.4

All of which means that ‘Gothic modernism’ is a long way from oxymoron: they’re basically two sides of the same coin. Realising an explicit Gothic- modernism, though, would seem a bit more of a challenge: A modernist gothic might be at the very least an exercise in heavyhanded formal discipline (and possibly bondage), if not the engineering of a frank and fraught contradiction, brought about by the literal telescoping of antithetical aesthetics under what you’d assume would be very unusual circumstances. Certainly, the most obvious cases of such a miscegenation aren’t pretty. A kind of over-scaled modernist industrial sublime, a camped up masculinism as in Queen- style British sci-fi, a la Blake’s 7, or any late seventies/early 80s heavy metal you care to confess. It’s brutalised as in notable 60s expressive concrete public architecture, like the ruined Tricorn centre in Portsmouth (“an adventure playground for Daleks”, bowled over and finally blown up on 25 October 2004) or its surviving, British film noire star counterpart, the Treaty shopping centre and car park in Gateshead, Northumbria (where Michael Caine killed in ‘Get Carter’).

But in fact, Gothic modernism is more common and diverse than you might imagine, especially when you look outside the core modernist canon, into its nether regions, where the third domestic element comes more strongly into play. And into work that’s about escaping or getting beyond the core orthodoxies and hegemonies of time, public place, scale and aesthetic gender, to where less presentable, more grotesque reactions might be hiding. The provincial, then, especially the gendered or sexualised provincial and domestic, becomes an immediately plausible repository of Gothicised grotesquery, modern or otherwise.

Whatever the scale, Brutalist or domestic, the outcome is commonly a kind of overdressed regional camp or grotesque5. Regional camps involve a kind of abject practiced cross dressing, where provincial artists play with and woefully produce their work in the recognisable codes of core aesthetic presentation, while grotesquing form through unsuppressible (often local) content rupturing out. Southern Gothic provides the most ready regional examples: Sherwood Anderson, Grant Wood, Flannery O’Connor. Post war Antipodean aesthetics, especially male figurative/placed painting, were lousy with this stuff: Gleason, Tucker, Nolan, Drysdale, Dobell, Bullmore, Eric Lee-Johnson, Clairmont, Fomison. It’s not always a miserable outcome, as demonstrated by the Larrikin camp predilection in Australian film (which is a bit more ‘out there’, and where gender doesn’t seem to be such a domestic trap, even say in Oz camp classic ‘Muriel’s Wedding’). But it is often bloody bleak: There was rampant, unsuppressible miscegenation (often across nature/architecture/body boundaries: buildings and natural forms taking on grotesque figurative aspect . There was murder and madness, the unhappy progeny/ruin of too much passion in too small a place, where, in Walpole’s words, ‘the great resources of fancy have been dammed up, by a strict adherence to common life’, and where ‘if… Nature has crampt imagination, she did but take her revenge’6.

Provincial and other grotesquery’s most prominent recent outing was in Robert Storr’s Sante Fe Biennale ‘Disparities and Deformations: Our Grotesque’. As Storr remarks, the grotesque is a plural recuperative strategy, the formal, social and political concept that binds the abject, the uncanny, the Gothic, the ‘informe’ together, ‘like a vine that weaves in and around weird vegetation and harbours amorphous creatures’7. For Storr, grotesques are everywhere, and in various periods have even been mainstream. But more commonly, they sit abjectly at one duplicitous (inverted?) remove from classical notions of quality and decorum, often within the same artists’ oeuvre (Michelangelo’s, for example, or Picasso’s, or…). More particularly, a modernist Gothic has popped up in as unlikely places as a regional Catalan modernist Gothic, and in various Latin American magic realisms, and even conceivably in works like Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s “Devil on the Cross” (Kenyan PoMo Gothic?). Closer to home, no surprises to see it turning up in NZ fashion, be it Karen Walker8 or Taranaki surfy/biker chick chic (tie die, black velvet, foiling the immediate romance of the machine and the smooth glass board).

But most obviously, something like it also works in other confined, involuted genres: the telescoped social order of film and lit. noir, such as Flannery O’Connor’s Southern Gothic, NZ’s own provincial Gothic film, and the filmic Taranaki Gothic/noire writing of Ronald Hugh Morrieson. With film, of course, moving or still, both modernity and arguably modernism are in many ways built in. It’s an apparently rational medium, which as I’ll explain might make it seem ill-suited for registering Gothic madness, but as things pan out makes it deadeye for dealing with ruins (and ruined modernism) in the NZ domestic landscape.

This essay, then, is about rational, largely documentary technique and provincial gothic content running into each other in different ways in three recent architectural photography contexts: Ann Shelton’s “Once More from the Street”, which interrogates (and inverts) ruins of NZ mental hospitals; Allan McDonald’s “Relocations and Demolitions”, which documents the defaced and displaced dotage of the house that used to be next door, but is now ruined; and, Gavin Hipkins’ earlier “The Habitat”, which showed international brutalism displaced (ie built here) and brought down to earth both by Hipkins’ technique, and by getting grungy and overgrown in a range of thinly New Zealand settings.

Photographing ruins: Three (gendered, modern) NZ versions of Gothic inversion

Ann Shelton’s recent work records dark memorial places, including the ruins of notorious NZ psychiatric hospitals. These latter are Gothic relics, bleak in neglected public garden landscapes, just one remove from a ‘yellow wallpaper’ sense of a more domestic, placed history. Her recent series on the Lake Alice facility (“Once More from the Street”, Starkwhite, September 2004), captures abandoned, standalone masonry deco group housing, a provincial version of a kind of Le Corbusier modernist public housing vision of community, now discredited as a kind of architectural institutional abuse, and sentenced to public memory erasure by the demo man. For all their cracked deco modernity, these places still radiate dark public/private questions, which the wider context of Shelton’s work genders up nicely.

The sociology of mental illness shows women are over represented in most mental health numbers, but especially in stress related categories (anxiety, hysteria and obsessive compulsive disorders). Basically, you’re much more likely to get hysteria if you have a hyster, or womb. But when gendered mental illness gets institutionalised (which usually in Modernism also means masculinised) the traumatic sequelae are given an even more brutal, re-traumatising address. At play here are both the public space hegemony of the patriarchy, and the obverse domesticity of mental illness, in what’s ultimately a cruel set of inverted ironies and pathologies. Privately, the family is a first, narrow festering place for just this kind of Gothic: guarded family secrets, and a fading damsel locked up in a castle with an ogre and some goblins (kids). But the institutional cultures of modernist mental institutions enable a neat Pitt-esque substitution of family secrets for institutional surveillance records, and the patriarchy/offspring by the institution and its nursing staff.

Thus psychiatric hospitals in the modern period were characterised by a medicalisation of madness that quarantined it on the public institutional side of a modernist division of labour between hospital and home. Ironically, when they built hospitals on domestic- remote sites, the guardians of this divide felt they needed to reproduce mis-scaled, uber- domestic replacements for more cramped real (and pathological) domesticity: ‘stroll around the grounds until you feel at home’, Mrs Robinson. Rows of similar grotesque suburban group houses were built on greenfields sites, and housed not just the patients, but also the nursing and medical staff, in separate but often identical quarters themselves remote from urban domestic life (remoteness was why they needed to build quarters at all). But ultimately even these spaces were, in their modernist separation of rational from domestic, deemed too cramped and confining, to prone to grotesque ingrown behaviours of confined pathology, and these too had to be opened out into a post modern, plural and apparently communitarian care regimen. Now, these empty buildings shout not just their failed modernist clinicism at you, they also function as haunted houses, full of “if these walls could speak” terrors of pathology and madness.

What gives these images an extra Gothic ambit of forensic enquiry is the sites’ persistence as mythological places in the landscape of New Zealand mental illness. Lake Alice, for example, had a secure unit where ‘murdering maniacs’ were sent, escaped from, rose to haunt from. But this unit explicitly isn’t Shelton’s focus, and nor does she evoke the moral/media sensationalism that goes with such a focus. Sheldon’s cooler investigation takes the sites’ clinical modernism on in its own (partially accepted?) terms (linking realist objectivity, seriality, and multiple equally valued perspectives). At the same time, eschewing Gothic horror, it seeks to insert a mode of visualized investigation, which effectively diffuses screaming reactionary narrative. Instead, it focuses inquiry on how a particular construction of mental illness was enacted architecturally. Shelton’s work, especially at this point, begs comparison with Ava Seymour’s more brutally grotesque photomontages of mentally disabled people in front of state houses. Here, in apparently similar content territory, Shelton’s work thankfully resists a formal and figurative grotesquing in favour of a more realist/documentary political critique, taking the issue out of the figured/personal and into a more public and principled inquiry.

In McDonald’s ‘Relocations and Demolitions’ (Anna Miles Gallery, October 2004) too, there’s no-one in sight, but we still get to meet something like the institution’s inmates. His ruins, mainly family homes now incarcerated in relocation yards around the country, are nearly figurative grotesques: front on, public facades, they’ve got the droops, eyes, brow, mouth sagging. There’s a house with its prosthetic nose missing, just a hole there: a brick house naked cladding stripped bare, a gaping vacant front, slight evidence of past elegance in the roman arch of the porchway, and behind it the wind howls through empty rooms. It’s vintage grotesque, but McDonald’s trick here is to extend the traditional grotesque miscegenation of the figurative, the built and the natural beyond the nineteenth century neo-Gothic (an aesthetic which underpinned, for example, the early c20 NZ Kauri villa) and the ruined/remote/regional, and into the urban modern.

These places have been torn from modern suburbia’s domestic landscape, but they still evoke a whole family’s lives, flashing before your eyes. Now, they’re either permanently displaced or well on the way out, committed into low rent repository institutions where generic violences and griefs of decay get lumped with other cases’ personalised grotesques. Most of these houses won’t be family homes ever again: they’re ruins sinking or growing into a rough metalled parking lot/peripheral industrial landscape. Scarcely the heavy stone ruins of centuries, these are the wooden houses of our NZ quarry/mill economy provenance. They are, nonetheless, a kind monument, describable as displaced headstones for departed families. And this adds poignancy to temporality: like our wider history, these ruins haven’t been around long. Against longer historical frames, they’re more frail, more desperate, more human, more undone: more modern in pretension, therefore turning out more time-prone in the event. McDonald has a fine, portrait eye for dimensions of this proneness and surprising frailty, and for the multi-dimensions of displacement this engenders.

Their modernity is worth unpacking: once, in one way or another, these were modern family habitats, prefabricated/mass produced villas or bungalows, thin new world wooden or brick veneer three bedroom modern family homes set in modernist utopian suburbanism9. They’re vernacular, but maybe only in the sense that English is the vernacular in Aotearoa, borrowed pop diction we have provincially worked up here. Appropriately understated, they refer to aesthetic tradition in a straightforward, inverted pride way, shorn of surplus decorum, rich in basic pragmatic goodwill. Rather what makes these ruins resonant are the ways they insinuate: it’s our own suburban, understated baby boom upbringing that’s gone to rack and ruin here. So this frailty comes as a bit of a personal, vanitas shock: frank suburban modernism was our great Kiwi claim to earthly paradise. Now, it all looks a bit shaky: the fact that they can be ripped up and carried off into dotage so easily means profound peripheral/provincial unease/displacement/impermanence is registered again.

Shaky impermanence seems antithetical to the kind of brutalism Gavin Hipkins took on in ‘The Habitat’ (Artspace, ADAM Art Gallery, 2000), which is perhaps why we’ve had such an awkward relationship with that architecture here. But Brutalism’s intrusive presence in our domestic architectural economy is actually the common, dismal experience of regions everywhere. As Stuart Jeffries wrote in “The joy of concrete”, 10

“Brutalism was something I grew up with [it was big in the West Midlands]. It was like having a depressive but not totally unlovable older brother who was always there — inert, sullen, and communicating only a barely scrutable sarcasm.

While skirting depressive illness, ‘The Habitat’ also dealt with hegemonic, travelling masculinist architecture in a faithfully Gothic and abject way. This, by a technique which plays up both the dated, foolish grotesquery of the sublime travelling Brutalism imposed, and by showing brutalism (like McDonald’s displaced houses) as becoming barely implicated in our landscape.

Certainly the placed elements are thin indeed: an inscription down one side of the photo telling you which NZ university the building stands in. On the other hand, displaced aspects crowd in: both the buildings themselves and the camera technique you could be anywhere on the planet here, which as Anna Miles’ Artforum review11 suggests, makes viewers’ searching for a more particular sense of place in these images a fairly hopeless labour. Certainly here this most brutal public modernist architecture is hardly domesticated: but in Hipkins presentation it is nonetheless ruined: overgrown with creeping vines and shadowy trees, claustrophobic, and dismembered.

But what’s mostly ruined in the process is arguably their grand modernist pretension, which as Miles hints is simply missed by campus students, and is certainly not popularly referenced back to any hegemonic, masculinist culture. Something like this mode of provincial ruin is perhaps what Hipkins is trying to achieve: a brutal, uncompromising travelling code is domesticated both by a provincial Gothic misreading, and an irreverent, inquisitive snapshot technique (discussed below). The end result is more than a thin re-labelling: it’s a sharp rescaling and critical displacement, maybe even an emasculating account of what are usually take- it- or- leave- it Brutalist elements: overweening scale, gross expressiveness, crude detail.

But at the same time Hipkins restates their oddness, turning their grotesqueries of scale and their thoughtless, in your face expressive protuberances back on themselves with a pretence of provincial innocence. As a technique for dealing with monsters, it’s less than entirely effective. Here, Fay Wray meets King Kong, or young Neddy Poindexter meets the Scarecrow, and emerges less scathed than you’d expect. They, and we, are still overwhelmed by grotesque monstrosities, even if a certain naïve inquiry means the beast does less damage than it might have. So we learn to live with monsters and trauma: which is arguably a basic provincial reality here12.

Photography as the new machinery of provincial Gothic inversion

Media and technique issues work oddly to reinforce the overall ambits here. Specifically, the initial surprise that photography ends up being the preferred medium for NZ Gothic makes good sense in bigger context.

Gothic’s choked romantic provenance means that it’s an antirealist genre, which sets its eruptive supernatural engagements and revelations sharply against the capturing ambits of systemic rationalism of all kinds. However, the genre has contradictorily always thrived on scientific investigation (often gone wary) as an organising narrative trope and style: the sceptical journalist, detective or scientist picking over the ruins of a story or house or graveyard, then personally drawn into the increasingly fantastic events. That, or innocence (children, beautiful youth) as clean and open template on which to inscribe historically mutilated truths and images. So photography’s clean, fresh and modern technical realism now steps forward to fill the place of empirical investigation and impressionable innocence. It naturalises, as well as documents, it captures the whole thing and reduces it (like a Pokemon?) to pixels in a box: but as is common in avowedly realist genres, it doesn’t ultimately succeed in demystifying. It’s this failure that finally cements the uncanny, and leaves the empirical question hanging eerily.

Realism in general functions as a way of capturing, often to political ends: a hard clear representation for a hard clear message. So Mike Stevenson has used photorealism as a provincial weapon against core art canons: in his realist charcoal drawings any grand seigneur of art can be brought down to local scale, and into critical engagement on local terms. Thus capture and parading on local turf is also generic to any domestication process: get a photo of the celebrity or the horror or the phenomenon, and begin the process of bringing it down to earth.

That, in a number of important ways, has been a crucial role for photography (and wider filmic practice) here in NZ: photos in books and journals have long domesticated and partially demystified genres travelling here (like modernism, or someone else’s narrative). Photographic images get caught up in this process in a number of overlapping, complicit ways. On one level, it’s as straightforward as our reliance on photos of art works for our provincial reception of them: on another, as Benjamin was onto, photographic reproduction delivers images to the masses via the media, but in doing so they mess with scale, colour, and numerous other auratic, even sublime elements.

Here, it may the political effects (that is, a de- and re-politicising) that matter most. Often what happens here is that the political motivations of an art movement have been evacuated in its journey here. Notably, this has happened with most modernisms, but especially with earth art and other brutal minimalisms. And here too, the camera has been awfully complicit. Seen mediated through the urbane garnered pages of an art journal, even blistering political statements like Robert Smithson’s earth art (the politics of bulldozer drivers in the desert ) or Donald Judd’s desert survivalism seem domestic, even environmentally grounded13. When we reproduced them here afterwards, it was to a different scale, and with different political intent. Then, as now, photography was complicit in the re-working.

In these terms the three photographers here all wield the camera to slightly different ends, within an overall Gothic inversion/displacement ambit. Ann Shelton is clearly involved with forensic documentation, gathering (public) place-specific evidence for a wider (gendered, public-private) conflict beyond: in terms of gender, these are sites of atrocious/violent struggles, needing to be held up to what ever aesthetic, moral or placed tribunals will consider them. Yet as the show’s title makes clear, it’s a revisionist (and thus inverted) view ‘once more from the street’: there’s no desire to revert back or go any deeper into cramped internal pathologies, the imbricated trauma of the yellow wallpaper or the walls that could speak.

Rather, Shelton’s wary, gender-sensitized enquiry ranges around these buildings, photographing/interrogating them from a range of eye level angles. And it does enough: this plural inquisitional technique helpfully plays on the monological modernist seriality of the buildings. But she does more, by a vertical mirror inverting of the images. It’s a Gothic inversion which speaks of critical othering, but obviously on a conceptual (critical gendered, public-domestic, modern-gothic), rather than a formal grotesquing level (as eg in Janet Frame’s ‘Faces in the Water’). It takes you critically inside the ideas of the mental hospital, while spatially leaving you outside, ‘on the street’, quizzing the formalism for its long gone content.

There’s arguably a different enquiry going on in McDonald, where both a documentary portrait and a local geriatrician’s eye seem to inform a photographic registering of mild, placed and figured stories of decline. The result is a certain kind of respectful distance, and some representational resistance to interior intimacy of the ‘Yellow Wallpaper’ variety. The grotesque clearly draws and appals, but what you don’t get here is a lot of interior prying, not too much of the taxonomic pathologist’s ambit. It is, after all, your own domestic/modern ancestry that’s being visited here: and so you get that odd old folk’s home mixture of hushed respect and distance invoking, pop-medicalised picking over aspects of ruin.

But the way of getting there in McDonald is not as simple as it looks: there’s a traditional panoramic technique at work here which involves panning across a subject, resulting in a series of (in this case analogue, documentary, portrait oriented) negatives, which are later joined and printed digitally in individual images. The result is mostly front on, single house images, presented as individual portraits, underpinned by a forensic veracity of actual film. And, perhaps, by a certain clinical and taxonomic impulse. But it would be wrong to say that ‘Relocations and Demolitions’ ends up as a male perambulator- view from outside the domestic space. McDonald’s reasons for keeping his distance are more generically humane, a recognition of a certain frailty in otherwise mundane modern domesticity. The camera does its objectifying, empirical work, but at the same time a different sensibility means there’s lots of nicely understated attention to figurative aspects of domestic ruin, and to the slim, displaced pickings of provincial scale and minor abjectness. For him to do more might be cruel: these figurative buildings don’t need pathological dismembering.

Gavin Hipkins is working with much tougher material, and he does use the camera to dismember, as well as to de- and re- mystify. Here, as elsewhere in his oeuvre, to capture and wrest away from a modern sublime the imperious aesthetic designs of the last 80 years (modernism and minimalism). Naked angry modernism (minimalism, brutalism) up front is pretty scary: all the more need then for a machine, Hipkins’ camera, that can displace it, pull it all down into a confined, image containing space, where it can be viewed and manipulated at leisure, and at whatever scale you want. Thus the camera is the perfect weapon for a provincial anti-modernist, capable of turning hegemony inside out, and pointing it back where it came from, turned to locally more complicit ends, but still globally recognisable. I think it’s a really neat trick, turned, incidentally by photographer Daniel von Sturmer in this year’s Walters Prize finalist “The Truth Effect”.

Hipkins in The Habitat is an especially active agent in bringing rampant modernism down to Gothic abjection, refusing the heroic monumentalist-masculinist perspective, turning it on its head in favour of odd angled interrogations of disembodied details of the buildings: there’s exterior and interior detail here, both critically/parodically focussed on the particular overstatements. It’s a bit of a snapshot technique (Miles is spot on to suggest they could have been taken eyes closed), and this rapid and broken seriality is reinforced in the way they’re presented, in close, film -negative like sequencing. The camera thus uses a Gothic claustrophobic/noir diction, at once simple and close up, and deliberately defiant of many/most of the monstrous claims and fears. Hipkins can’t blow these buildings up, like the Tricorn, but he does bring them down to earth in other ways.

Conclusions: A useful forensic obsession?

In drawing the kinds of links it has, this essay is suggesting it’s more than an accident that these three photographers have been working over related materials. Rather, it’s a fact of place and shared aesthetic and cultural problematic, addressed and dealt with in three different ways. All up, Gothic inversion and displacement in the hands of these photographers emerges as a kind of reflexive technique, wielded sharply to the effect of framing a forensic field for what’s otherwise abject, decomposing subject matter.

Seen together, this work could be seen as a part of a wider cultural inquiry, the picking over the remains of hegemonic modernist formalism in this part of the world, and thus as a part of the much bigger and necessary Antipodean project outlined by Bernard Smith in Modernism’s History14. Pragmatically, tactically, it could be seen as a part of a bigger inversion where travelling modernisms get therapeutically revisited and displaced. Now, they get turned on their heads, and as a result we get critically conscientised to their travelling/hegemonic/masculinist/etc pretensions. As a result, the modernisms end up rather more domesticated, and we end up less traumatised. More darkly, though, they could be seen as a part of a more chronic and debilitating condition, a long term, traumatised pathology where we end up forever circling round this uncanny, and reproducing variously therapeutic/grotesque forms of travelled aesthetics: obsessively photographing them for evidence of ongoing crimes, unable to get to any definitive, post-traumatic kind of closure. Either way, finding different ways to deal with (and get some distance on) obsessive provincial gothic questions about domestic, public and modern culture is something architecture photographers must keep on helping us with.

  1. Bleiler, E. F, 1996). Introduction. Three Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, Vathek by William Beckford, The Vampyre by John Polidori, and a Fragment of a Novel by Lord Byron. Ed. E. F. Bleiler. New York: Dover. v-xl. Quote: pg xvi 

  2. See Williams, A 1995. Art of Darkness: A Poetics of Gothic. Chicago: University of Chicago Press 

  3. See for example Moers, E 1974 ‘Female Gothic: Monsters Goblins and Freaks’. New York Review of Books Vol 21 Number 5. April 4 1974. and Gilbert S and S Gubar (2000) The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth Century Literary Imagination. New Haven: Yale University Press  

  4. All this is given a nice but different spin (with forensic architectural photos) in Peter Wood’s 1999 Pander essay ‘Bodies in Question – Domestic Crime Fiction – Domestic Crime Fact’ http://www.thepander.co.nz/architecture/pwood9.php  

  5. See Perry, N, 1998, Hyperreality and Global Culture, London, Routledge, especially ch 1. Antipodean Camp. and Craig, D 1997. Taranaki Gothic: stalking the grotesque in provincial art. 1997 Seppelt Awards Exhibition Catalogue, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.  

  6. cited in Bleiler op cit 

  7. Disparities and Deformities: Our grotesque. Interview with Marie de Brugerolle in Flash Art, Vol XXXVII No 236, May June 2004, p 75 

  8. Time magazine 1999. “Southern Gothic: Karen Walker’s edgy designs reflect the darker tones of her native New Zealand”. 24 May 1999 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/intl/article/0,9171,1107990524-26288,00.html  

  9. Craig, D. 2004. Queer blokes and moral modernity: land, capital, mobility and governance in New Zealand’s biggest borough, in Carter, I, Craig D and S Matthewman, Eds, Almighty Auckland?. Palmerston North: Dunmore Press pp 163-180 

  10. Jeffries, S. The joy of concrete. The Guardian, March 15 2004. http://society.guardian.co.uk/urbandesign/comment/0,11200,1169644,00.html  

  11. See Miles, A 2000. Gavin Hipkins, Brief Article, Artforum Summer 2000 http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0268/is_10_38/ai_65071365  

  12. See Craig, D. 2005. Taranaki Gothic and the political economy of provincial narrative and sensibility, New Zealand Sociology Vol 20 No 2.  

  13. See Craig. D. 1994 If I can’t wear my old Wrangler Shirt I’m not going. Left right confusion in NZ art Catalogue Essay, Michael Stevenson. Greg Flint Galleries, Auckland, New Zealand 

  14. Smith, B (1998) Modernism’s History. New Haven: Yale University Press.