Through The Windows
Domestic ground floor window-fronts are an inherently extraordinary place. They occupy the threshold between public streetlife and domestic life. Here comes an opportunity that some households seize to store and expose Their personal artefacts. In Belgium, these items at times represent the family who lives there (such as a photograph) or they contain a religious or political message (in case of symbols or scriptures) and at other times they are just decorative. The curtain also acts as a canvas, creating a second layer of visual input in the setting.
This attitude of exposing personal artefacts stand in stark contrast with cultures where the house and family are seen as very private entities. In Iran for example, the architecture of residential buildings escapes such situations, and when it cannot, private life will always remain behind the curtain and fully hidden from the street.
The arrangement of the items behind these windows appears to be conscious in most cases. By curating objects of similar colour or meaning, some windows become a careful stage of ideas. And there are other cases which represent a more careless or backstage environment. Although for some of these arrangements become one the most mundane and ordinary scenes of the life of the person living inside, for a stranger, that very same window can become what they define that household with. That window might even become a navigation guide for newcomers to the neighbourhood. Furthermore, there is a visual interdependence between the artefact and the facade in colour, pattern, scale and geometry. The bricks and window frames usually complement the arrangement inside and create a larger, more urban backdrop to the miniature staged scene.
The reflection of the neighbouring buildings in the backdrop of the staged window generates a depth of field and an added layer of visual input where the street and skyline, even the weather, can be seen in reverse. This exercise can prove to be a cultural observation through owned personal items of a neighbourhood if there are enough ground floor windows.
Date: 2018- Present