Justin Emmanuel Dumas2021

Mattress Factory

Mattress Factory
Pittsburgh, United States

The phrase ‘good bones’ is often used in reference to dwellings that have a solid foundation, intuitive floor plans, and strong structural elements. Houses that, with attention and care, can become great homes. In Good/Bones, Justin Emmanuel Dumas presents the skeleton of a home, emphasizing materials and structure, and prompting consideration of their importance and a close observation of their surfaces. Good/Bones is a meditation on liminality, embracing the journey between departure and arrival. It encourages us to notice that which we typically ignore.

An archway, or threshold, is situated exactly in the middle of the gallery, balancing the space into equal parts and guiding the viewer through the space. There are opposites (i.e. interior/exterior, artificial/natural light), but the two sections are in harmony, not opposition.

Dumas incorporates fragments of vintage home furnishings and other antique objects, signaling toward a time when the quality of materials was paramount. Familiar objects remind us of our histories, while their reimagining makes us consider their history as well. The aged and marked surfaces of the objects tell stories of survival and utilization, and their placement in this installation continues their story of transition.


  • Title: Good/Bones
  • Creator: Justin Emmanuel Dumas
  • Date Created: 2021
  • Location Created: Pittsburgh, PA

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