Room Behavior

Blaine Kyllo

Rob Kovitz's Room Behavior (Treyf/Insomniac) is an interesting attempt by a Manitoba architect to document the impact that a room has on its inhabitants. Kovitz juxtaposes text and image, inviting us to look at the rooms we live in, the spaces we occupy, in a new light. Or shadow.

The mood of Room Behavior is dark and ominous. It set me on edge peering into corners where dustballs live, afraid to look under the couch. Some of Kovitz's selections are intentionally jarring: NYPD crime scene photos, academic analyses of the children's program Romper Room, a still from the Harding-Gillooly homemade porno video. But the combinations of image and text do not always provoke understanding.

There is no preface or introduction to illuminate Kovitz's intention and there are no page numbers. Some photos have credit lines on the same page, the rest are listed in the back, in a source list that is hard to use since there are no page numbers. The reproduction of the photos is remarkably poor—much of their impact is lost. Room Behavior is a good idea badly executed.

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