A Roomful of Women

A group of women standing and talking is filmed in a rectangular white room (a gallery without art, the women becoming the art?). The film is then projected onto a box-like screen which, placed in front of a corner, reproduces this confined space. The film is non-narrative, continuously looped. The spectator, watching the women, is drawn to the details of gestures and poses, perhaps becoming caught up in them. This potential is superseded, however, by other, distancing elements: soundtracks of women’s voices in random conversation, in a structured reading, and an authoritative male voice that directs the viewer to look at the women in three languages. He parodies an elementary language lesson, teaching the look. Fractured paintings and sculptures of women, gestures isolated, are projected over the women in the room, creating parallels with their actual comportment. The entire scene is monitored on videotape to one side and above the scene. There the images are isolated and frozen, increasing the emphasis on looking and watching, to disquieting effect.