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Dirty Windows uses collage, paint, and text to convey the social fragmentation that occurs when private lives are obscured by the public world’s demands for specific allegiances. My pieces overlay tokens of privacy that, while unique to my own life, hold universally familiar relevance. Pieces of text from my mother’s confirmation journal cut across portions of medical studies about gynecological cancer from my sister’s medical research, sheet music discovered in my family’s old piano bench, bits of fabric, and vintage sewing patterns—all divided by thin lines of graphite, ink, and paint. These artifacts of my home life are apolitical signs of love, tradition, and curiosity that most families treasure. Yet, our understanding of one another is often obscured by our loyalties to political and ideological “teams.” We regard each other—as the old saying goes—through a glass darkly, as though the windows to our private lives are obscured by the demands placed upon us. The lives and loves that we all share inside our homes become estranged by the divisions in our social world, leaving our communities fragmented by misunderstanding and anger, even when our private lives hold the keys to connection. In the time of global crisis, specifically pandemic, these allegiances are often skewed towards care. Care for loved ones and self, are often not by choice. The roles of care are engendered and fall heavily, invisibly, on women. It is during these times, when loyalties and ideologies are challenged by domestic responsibilities, calls into question who is looking out from behind the glass.
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