Maja Bajevic, Chambre avec vue (in) / visible, 2003, five-day performance / video installation (16’10’’) / engraved glass.
Exhibition view: Printemps de Septembre, Toulouse, France (Curator Marta Gili), 2003.
Chambre avec vue
The performance took place in a social housing complex, in a hairdresser’s shop. I invited five inhabitants of these buildings, Houria Hachemi, Habib Hasnaoui, Asiyie Sabui, Mina Safrioui, Senadin Tursic, to work with me engraving ornamental motives from their countries of origin on the inside of a storefront window.
What interested me in this project is the characteristic of glass, its transparency, that through engraving becomes first translucent and finally opaque. I consider this to be a metaphor for life in the cité, visible and invisible at the same time. The performance lasted for five days, allowing participants to get to know each other better. In making their origins visible, the participants themselves slowly disappeared. But work in public always attracts attention, especially if it is not work with some concrete purpose (like construction or repair). In my opinion, it is shared work that connects people from closed or isolated communities better than anything else.