When the theme “Stranger Comes to Town” was first announced by the organizers of this year’s SPRING/BREAK art fair, curator Indira Cesarine found it was a perfect opportunity to explore a concept she had been ruminating on for a while.
“I just felt like it was a perfect fit of the theme of a stranger comes to town, and the notion of the stranger that stays in hotels, and the varied experiences that people have, and the fact that you visually see the experiences and memories that take place in the same hotel room through artwork,” she said of her exhibit, (Hotel) XX, which took up two spaces of last week’s fair.
Drawing on the work of Hitchcock and surreal television shows such as Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone, Cesarine created an exhibition space that explored the intimate moments women have when alone in hotel rooms, mixed with the uneasy, mysterious, and somewhat surreal feeling of staying in a place frequented—even if only for the briefest of moments—by strangers. There were aspects of voyeurism, but also of familiarity.
Among the 24 female-identifying artists (including Cesarine herself) in the show were painters Alexandra Rubinstein and Fahren Feingold; photographers Brittany Markert and Mairi-Luise Tabbakh; and Joetta Maue, who embroiders figures of sleeping people onto bed sheets.