Source: Artist statement/proposal provided by the artist. Somewhere between 30 seconds and 30 minutes, what is there to do when one waits for the subway to arrive? Unless I am armed with reading materials, I usually stand on the platform of my elevated subway stop, looking out to the sky, over the buildings beneath and surrounding, and eventually through the individual windows within them. For all the windows, with their curtains drawn and their blinds raised, I imagine how the occupants lead their lives through the few visual clues I observe.
Unlike most other elevated subway stations in Brooklyn, at the moment the New Lots Avenue station does not have buildings butting up against the elevated platform, as most in the area are detached, single-family homes with backyards. No matter how the neighborhood evolves over time, what will remain constant is the way we live, and the activities we conduct inside our homes, whether stacked on top of one another or side-by-side.
With an opportunity to create 16 different panels in glass, at the sizes that resembles closely to the actual windows of most dwellings in Brooklyn, my proposal, 16 Windows, is to use glass to depict the lives unseen through windows but behind the blinds, engaged in common, day-to-day activities that we all can relate to.
From watering plants to watching TV, and eating breakfast to cooking dinner, the various domestic activities depicted are grouped in two categories: before and after the commute. On the Manhattan Bound platform, eight neighbors engaged in daytime activities will accompany passengers on their way to work. Upon their return and stepping off the Canarsie Bound train, riders descending the staircase will observe another eight neighbors who have already begun their evening rituals.
Whether viewed from the ground or from the platform, I believe that through these windows into the homes of our neighbors, all of us can find beauty within the often overlooked, ordinary activities that, however differently we practice them, withstand time and cross the invisible boundaries that separate us, uniting us in the shared idea of home.