Carley Gomez and Levi Sherman
This second printing of Playing House is produced in an edition of 26. Each deck of cards includes a map-folded table of contents, on which the deck’s number is written.
Playing House is a non-linear narrative told through prose poetry and collage. The project comprises fifty-two cards, which can be shuffled or read in their original sequence. Each card features a poem on its face and a collage on its back. The text chronicles the life of a man and his relationships as he performs his identity against the domestic backdrop of middle America. Each collage serves as a non-representational meditation on the content of its respective verse, and is created from wallpaper fragments to further reference the facade of domesticity. Playing House is a collection of moments from the life of the protagonist as he struggles to reconcile his past – a failed marriage, a complicated childhood, and the necessity of keeping up appearances – with his new life as an openly gay man in a tumultuous relationship. Through its indeterminate structure, Playing House explores the workings of memory, the influence of the past on the present, and the inadequacy of language as a means of communication. The text, the imagery, the structure, and the reading experience are all connected by a number of motifs. Among these are surface, simulacra, and fragmentation.