Housewives of the Queer Hearth

A collaboration between Rosa Nussbaum and Kevin Brophy

Housewives of the Queer Hearth is an immersive, multimedia installation that proposes a queered feminist utopia.
In HotQH we blend digital media and performance with hand built exaggerated home décor, tracing out the gendered histories of architecture and interior design. Our world is set in the boudoir; “the woman’s private bedroom”. In the installation we re-imagine the cities we inhabit in continuum with domestic labour in the home (e.g. kitchenless houses).

The work is bright, exuberant, and comedic; full of fantasy and play despite dealing with very real socio-political issues and lived experiences. The installation blends the virtual and the tactile with campy furniture; a hyper-elongated, curvy chaise lounge outfitted with video displays and upholstered in hand-printed material featuring feminist city plans, custom rugs that describe the floorplan and linguistic history of interior spaces, an animated Toile de Jouy wallpaper featuring commemorative scenes of the butt plug harvest, the unveiling of a double headed dildo sculpture and communal tampon rolling.

Greeters, the introductory work to the space subverts-by-borrowing the authoritative tone of historical industry and commerce—such as 50s World’s Fair attractions and Monsanto’s Tomorrowland “House of the Future”—with humor and unabashed flamboyance. The exhibition features footnotes that allow viewers to access the conceptual underpinning of the work, without the work itself having to get too didactic. The boudoir also included our fictional broadcasting outlet, HotHQ TV. HotHQ TV features the work of other queer media artists p1nksta and Anna Azizzy, whose works thematically deal with gender and sexuality using satire and humor. A selection of texts curated by Summer Jade Leavitt from The Queer Theory Library installed in the Kemper Library for the duration of the exhibition.


projection of greeters video on large wall

Installation view of HotQH, with Chaise Loooooouuunge, No Kitchen, Rug and Cornice Box.

projection of greeters video on large wall
projection of greeters video on large wall being activated with a button push by an audience member

The Greeters [‡‡]

Interactive Greeters introduce viewers to the the new queer feminist utopia.

Above: An audience member activates the projection using a push button embedded in the projection wall. The interaction is facilitated by a raspberry pi.

‡‡ greeters

1. The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities Dolores Hayden (1982)

2. Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe. The American Woman's Home or Principles of Domestic Science (1869)

3. Roadtown, Edgar Allen Chambless (1910)

4. The Monsanto House of the Future (1957 to 1967)

projection of greeters video on large wall
projection of greeters video on large wall
projection of greeters video on large wall
doormats in foreground of exhibition installation


Kevin Brophy and Rosa Nussbaum are doormats. Walk all over them. Digitally printed doormats.

Left: Installation view
Right: Doormat of Kevin with footprint left by gallery visitor.

doormats in foreground of exhibition installation
chaise lounge pattern desing with footnot numbers
chaise lounge sculpture meets chaise lounge projection

Chaise Looooooooooounge [‖]

A hand built chaise uphostered in screenprinted and digitally printed fabric, with legs made of Trompe-l'œil photo prints on cardstock and embedded screens, meets a projection on the wall. The projection is rendered in Blender 3d. The embeded video plays scenes from Keeping Young & Living Longer: How to stay Active & Healthy past 100, or How to avoid Life Shortening Errors by Rosa Nussbaum and Kevin Brophy.
The projection video with audio can be accessed here.

‖ Chaise Loooooooooooooounge

Utopian city plan based on;

[Fig1] Plan of part of a proposed garden city, from Alice Constance Austin, The Next Step (1935);

[Fig2] Block plan of Pacific Colony (with centralized kitchens), Marie Howland, Albert Kimsey Owen, and John Deery (1885);

[Fig3] Plan for a utopian living arrangement called Phalanstery in which women are liberated, in A Popular View of the Doctrines of Charles Fourier by Parke Godwin, (1844)

[Fig4] Diagram of an efficient kitchen, Christine Frederick, in The New Housekeeping: Efficiency Studies in Home Management (1913).

chaise lounge sculpture meets chaise lounge projection
chaise lounge sculpture meets chaise lounge projection
chaise lounge sculpture meets chaise lounge projection
chaise lounge sculpture meets chaise lounge projection

Toile [†]

Toile depicting scenes commemorating our queer feminist future. Created using Unreal Engine 5.

Left: Installation view
Below: Details of scenes from the animated toile

† Toile

Loosely inspired by Fourier’s Le Nouveau Monde Amoureux (1967) as well as the Toile de Jouy of the Oberkampf Textile Manufactory

[Fig1] Butt plug harvest and dwellings grown from the natural yeasts of the body.

[Fig2] Damsels rolling their own tampons.

[Fig3] A Bacchanate erects a monument to the double headed dildo.

No Kitchen Monument [¶]

Trompe-l'œil tiles painted onto wood with laser-cut wood letters and vinyl floor tiles.

Right: Installation view
Below: Detail

¶ No Kitchen Monument

"The frightfully wasteful process by which women throw away their time and strength and money in a continuous struggle [...] is one of the great and useless extravagances of the present system. [...] The central kitchens will remove the hatefully monotonous drudgery of cooking three meals a day, three hundred and sixty-five days in the year, and washing the dishes. Alice Constance Austin, “The Socialist City,” in The Western Comrade 5, no. 2 (June 1917): 14"

no kitchen monument
no kitchen monument