“It’s everything. It’s the single thing that I have done that expresses me the most completely, more than any of my films. Bleak House is the best thing I’ve done.” – Guillermo del Toro
If you’ve visited Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters, you might recognize that quote from the exhibition’s introductory panel, located beside the stunning photograph of the filmmaker’s own Los Angeles abode that contains the collection on display. The AGO’s curatorial team wanted his words at the beginning of the show because, at its core, At Home with Monsters is about the relationships between identity, collecting and obsession.
Since the show opened in September, we decided to investigate these ideas even further by talking with visitors to the exhibition about their own collections. Sure, del Toro’s Bleak House is an awe-inspiring monument to the art of collecting and displaying objects and oddities, but we’ve had a few conversations that indicate there might be more Bleak (or Bleak-ish) Houses out there.
Take Liisa, a Toronto-based documentary photographer. Since 1995, she’s been travelling around Canada and the United States, photographing rockabilly festivals and hot rod shows. It’s an aesthetic that carries over to her apartment – she lives in a 1930’s cabinet of curiosities, featuring panther lamps, hatboxes, vintage dresses, lady vases and gorgeous kitchenware.
We also met up with Adam, a self-described horror movie buff who’s spent the last few months restoring a 1965 Lincoln Continental into a tribute to Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shining. The pillows patterned with The Overlook Hotel’s carpet designs are one thing, but the detailing in the truck is unreal (he’s also got a few nods to The Evil Dead and The Thing in there).
So now it’s over to you – show us your collections, your own Bleak Houses (or cars, or basements, or bookshelves) with the bric-a-brac and tchotchkes that represent you. Send us your photos and videos to @agotoronto with the hashtag #GDTAGO. And don’t be afraid to divulge your collection of Magic Cards – we all know Stranger Things has made them cool again.
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Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters Supporters: