windows

Bernasconi, Claudia

The space of the window, the oculus between the inner sanctum of the house and the eyes of the city is the theme of this video-installation. Windows metaphorically represent our eyes, the permeable boundary between soul and external existence.  A window is the possibility of a connection, of a protection, of a glance or of a missed glance to someone’s inner landscape.  Women visit windows, they inhabit them recursively.  A window is their salvation or curse. It is the place for reflection, contemplation, desire, hope, flight, work and even rarely ostentation. The light of the open air attracts women to the window. Yet, recessed in the penumbra of the frame women appear, act, salute, and promptly disappear into their space of chores and affection. For a brief moment they stare or communicate with the outsider/s, and at times even joke with them.

The footage gives a glimpse on Italian 1950s social life through the exploration of an in-between space, a fragmented and porous thickness between the city and the house: the window. The iterative nature of the video-installation suggests repeatability of an established routine, while the shortness and rapidity of the episodes leaves out “the rest”, all that has happened, happens (and will happen) in the interior space.

This work has been included in the 2010 Women and Gender Studies Biennial Art Exhibition (only during opening day) at University of Detroit Mercy. Equipment for the installation include: a laptop, a projector and a sheet with prints of stills.