LA CASA POR LA VENTANA / PAST THE OPEN WINDOW
JEN HOFER & MYRIAM MOSCONA
The house is a notebook. A book is a home. Coming from different directions, we move in different directions. The window is open.
We made a workspace of hand-crocheted blankets purchased at thrift shops in Utah, Nevada, and California, laid out diagonally across the center of a room that was once someone’s bedroom. We began with an accordion-fold notebook with a “path” of printed pages glued across the center; we opened the book out from the middle of the blankets in the middle of the room. We knelt to stitch and write into the notebook: a diary of sorts. A private conversation made public. We interrupted our work to change the record, 78s playing big band music. We did not have a plan in advance for our stitched lines and words; our cues came from the space where we worked, the records and scratchy electric hum needle and human sounds of people watching us or not watching us.
What do we write in the notebook called “house” and is that writing a public act? We perform small rituals we invent to make sense of the spaces around us, and do not intend them to be consumed. Are all such ritualized/repetitive home-making acts performances? Our home is in books: Disintegration? Interpretation? The flutter of air in the unfolding of a page?
Domestic space is made public within the confines of privatized public space, particularly in homes made famous by the fame of their makers. How do domestic actions like walking barefoot, stitching, writing by hand in a notebook, laying out or folding homemade blankets, playing records to provide a rhythm to our daily work shift in resonance when they are performed publicly? When utilitarian actions are removed from a context of utility-or rather, are put to a different use as aestheticized or memory-laden acts of representation?
Which is more abstract: a written word or a stitched line? Which is more confining: a written word or a stitched line? When we begin at opposite ends of an accordion-fold book and language has an infinite half-life, where do we meet?
The title of our piece is not entirely congruent-i.e. the Spanish and the English are not interchangeable and don’t mean precisely the same thing (more so than usual). In translation there is no exact congruence; similarly in collaboration.