The unpredictable circumstances of the pandemic offer a new way to look at Débora Delmar’s ongoing research on corporate architecture and office spaces, which are now becoming outdated. The artist is interested in non-places, generic places usually designed for the passage of nameless multitudes. They feel familiar and universal, yet often alienating.
Non-places are a recurring theme in Delmar’s practice but she approaches it very institutively. The artist likes to use her phone to take photos because it allows spontaneity and immediacy.
Delmar’s photograph of an empty shared office depicts precisely a non-place stripped of any identity and geographic connotations. It was photoshopped to remove elements that would reveal its specific location. In a way, the work is an extension of the artist’s architectural research because these kinds of non-places need to be thought over in the times of a pandemic. While the repetitiveness of the empty interior signifies the absence of people who used to inhabit it, there are details, such as the slightly moved chair, as if someone was just sitting there, that suggest a not-so-distant presence.
About the artist
Débora Delmar (b.1986, Mexico City, Mexico)
Lives and works between London, UK and Mexico City, MX.
She completed the Postgraduate Programme at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2019.
Delmar’s work investigates the effects of globalisation on everyday life in relation to consumer culture and society, particularly focusing on issues such as gentrification, class struggle and cultural hegemony. This is borne from the omnipresent influence of the United States in Mexico, and in the wider world.
In her installations Delmar frequently references minimalist corporate architecture, non-places and multinational chain’s aesthetics. The artist appropriates the minimalist design that characterises corporate spaces. These spaces of consumption have a sanitised and homogenised look which allows for constant surveillance.