Jan McCullough
Home Instruction Manual

Traditionally, instruction manuals have been the perfect source for practical solutions. Experts in specific subjects provide written authority on how to repair faults and carry out tasks from scratch.

McCullough typed ‘how to make a home’ into Google, and was directed to an online chat forum in which self-described experts were exchanging detailed instructions. She rented an ordinary suburban house and carried out the strangers’ advice exactly over the period of two months. In complying with the instructions for making the perfect home, she contemplated the construction of an identity from scratch. The photographs document the end result of her time living and working in the house, trying on different lives for size.


Jan McCullough (b.1991) is a graduate from the Belfast School of Art. Her book Home Instruction Manual was recently published by Verlag Kehler, after winning the Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award in 2015. Exhibitions include Seen Fifteen Gallery, London (2016), Unseen Photo Fair, Amsterdam (2015), Belfast Exposed Gallery, Belfast (2015) and Circulations Festival, Paris (2014).

Home Instruction Manual, Jan McCullough