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2020 SPE Annual Conference: Hosted by The University of Houston | Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts | School of Art

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Amanda Dahlgren

SPE Member since 2008
Member Chapter: West


When a deep-seated desire to be accepted for who we are--in a culture that values what we have--becomes twisted and perverse, an awe-inspiring home in the right neighborhood can feel like the ultimate expression of worth. In the recent housing boom, that desire was exploited by everyone from real estate agents to mortgage brokers to Wall Street traders to politicians. We are now dealing with the aftermath of people grasping to fill their inner void with homes they could not afford.

Distressed is a series of fine art photographs, produced as a social commentary on our obsession with the grandiose over the genuine. At the time of capture, I abstracted the subjects--financially distressed properties on the San Diego real estate market--for the purpose of directing the viewer away from depiction and into visceral connection. The narrative is further enhanced by a title pulled directly from the home's MLS listing, as well as a visual layering of the MLS text on the photograph. The visual style of the series is chaotic, intense, and saccharine, echoing the exploitation, desperation, and delusion swirling around these homes.

7254 Draper Ave, 92037: Village living at it's (sic) finest!

7640 Seattle Dr, 91941: Spacious master suite downstairs with jacuzzi tub

7643 Seattle Dr, 91941: Master Suite with Jacuzzi Tub located Downstairs

5160 White Emerald Dr, 92130: Top school districts

2375 Montclair St, 92104: Must see this craftsman style home


17311 Ralphs Ranch Rd, 92127: 20x20 tiled first floor.

2539 Lone Jack Rd, 92024: Ozzie and Harriet could have lived here!

7514 Via Capri, 92037: You'll fall in love

11354 Fortino Pt, 92131: BANK WILL DO NO FURTHER REPAIRS


12256 Berea Ct, 92064: The items mentioned are not guaranteed to work.

14803 Whispering Ridge Rd, 92131: First impressions with (sic) set the tone

5385 La Jolla Mesa Dr, 92037: Most of the bedrooms have ocean views.

2817 Lloyd St, 92117: Ocean and City Light Views (protected by CC and R's).

10607 Birch Bluff Ave, 92131: Everything you hoped for and more.

10611 Birch Bluff Ave, 92131: This is an extremely quality house

3617 Ingraham St, 92109: Built in 2005 with to (sic) many upgrades to list them all.

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