Make yourself at home
I explore the space of staircases in blocks of flats in my native city in Belarus. That space is very much like no man's land for which, in fact, no one is responsible, although the usage of these communal areas is regulated by Housing and Civil Codes and also by fire safety requirements. The residents go out for a smoke or a secret drink, to talk without witnesses. They seek some privacy outside of their own flats, which, in turn, are supposed to give people that privacy. Unnecessary rubbish is taken out there, for which there is no room in the apartment anymore. The residents try to bring comfort to the space of staircases but use the items they are ready to lose or that were supposed to be thrown away soon anyway. There are no people in the photos, but their presence is felt very strongly, even though the space that is photographed is not inhabited. TV-sets, sofas, carpets, ashtrays, stools, benches, vases, refrigerators, bath-tubes, gas stoves, bedside tables — everything with the prefixes «used» or «old» — these are just a few examples of what can be found on the staircases. Absolutely domestic items placed in another space, outside the home, acquire a new meaning, and also bring additional context to the space they are being put in.