Exploring notions of inside, outsider, and the other, I create immersive narratives and environments that encourage the audience to intrude upon private spaces. I ask viewers to confront the power dynamic between the voyeur and the viewed, navigating moral, mental, and physical boundaries until they sense a shift from viewer to voyeur.
In Eavesdropping, we look into the fictional home I created for an anonymous woman shown in an old black-and-white photograph I found in a thrift store. Young, black, female, and staring at the camera through her glasses, in the confines of the image she felt both familiar and distant, like a neighbor only seen through her open windows. Though there were no markings on the back of the photograph or any indication of who she was, I named her Vera—a name that means truth, but whose narrative contains none.
Enticed by her anonymity, I created her fictional life, history, and lineage—including her home, built as a miniature set—and documented her possessions for presentation in a public estate sale. The resulting photographs and video place the viewer outside of her scale-model home, voyeuristically looking in windows or reading about her belongings in an estate sale catalogue.
Looking into her home and life from the outside, we are faced with the frustrations, limitations, and inaccuracies of what the camera or window frame presents—we must face the limitations of what we are able to understand. I seek to distinguish between the act of looking and the act of seeing, and that of seeing from understanding. I’m interested in the space where looking becomes a transgression and how what is seen reveals more about the viewer than the viewed.