Marina Black | Half of the Room

The project Half of the Room addresses the concept of Home and Homelessness with respect to issues of loss, trauma, death and hope, drawn from both personal and observational experiences. What does it mean to be away from home and to become “un-homed” despite still having a place others call home? It deals with the fragility of the human species and the subjective interpretations of notions of Loss and Hope. I have spent much of the last decade investigating constructs and the formation of these notions on the intersection of public and private histories.

This work originally came into being as part of the multi-authored autobiographic play, which includes the several selves, brought to life in the process. The photographs that I created are better answers than anything that I could tell in a traditional biography. They are large photographic portraits of people, who had experienced loss and trauma in their lives. They were photographed through the windows of their homes. These images were arranged to act as ‘windows’ of the room for the audience to look out while the subjects attempt to look back within. These are glimpses into people lives for the brief difficult moment that I was allowed to enter, when words were not enough. I would dare to say that They are Theirs and my own. Walking in, being there, seeing faces that are distorted by anguish and pain, trying to be with Them, trying to be Them, trying to be yourself. They are the characters of my play. So are You. This is our play. Can you be part of it at least for this moment? All of the sudden, we are in this together, part of this time that could last a few minutes or a lifetime. A lifetime, when there is no beginning and no end.

Personal and collective trauma, loss, dislocation, nomadism, are phenomena that affect numerous people in our society to different degrees.
Many people are affected by a strange sense of in-betweenness. This project investigates the complexities surrounding both the singular and more universally understood psychological conditions of trauma & mourning and how they manifest themselves in the expressions of our everyday lives.


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