Shelving the Body, People Shelved with Their Objects by Darragh Casey

In April 2012, artist Darragh Casey traveled to Cork, Ireland, to “shelf” and photograph 3 generations of his family. In his Shelving the Body project, he created a series of shelves to hold his kin in unique ways. The resulting Shelf Portraits displayed them “alongside objects relevant to their own lives and personalities.”

“Shelving the Body” aims to disrupt our habitual relationships with furniture and reassess the idea of the ‘user’. This subversion, initiated through a series of experimentation and trials, approaches the typology of the shelf with a physical consideration for the figure. At times, the outcomes often reduce the role of the figure to that of a ‘shelved object’, exploring the idea of mutual dependency, challenging its user, or simply taking inspiration from the figure’s presence.