Monday, September 29, 2014

"The Apartment (Office Shirts)” by Stella Ebner

Image posted with the permission of the artist. Stella Ebner's large-scale screen prints are currently on view in Philly at the Print Center in the exhibit Let's Go! G-O! Go!through November 22nd. You can also find more about Ebner on her website

This is one image from a series of woodcuts Ebner did in 2007. You can see others online here. I find the entire series rather compelling, particularly the ones in tones of blue. Quiet, fleeting moments of life indoors. 

I leave the closet door open most of the time. Not intentionally. There is simply no reason to close it after I retrieve what I need, and I never developed that particular habit of tidy people. As a result, when I wake up in the morning and continue lying there in bed, not yet ready to rise, I find myself staring at the shirts on hangers, lined up like deflated and pressed people in line at the DMV. 

Sometimes clothing seems so silly. Sure, in the winter it makes sense to wear all those layers of flannel and fleece, but today I went over to a friend's house at 2 in the afternoon, and her 3 year old was still running around in nothing but her underwear and a loose t-shirt, and I thought, right? 

Clothing somehow feels like a human presence. Yes, maybe that is just because they are shaped to our symmetrical, anthro forms, what with those legs and arm-like sleeves. But I suspect there is even more to it. Nakedness is a secret we forget. We define ourselves and others with our clothing. Even after we take it off, it retains a piece of our souls. I look into that closet every morning, half awake, and I feel as if I'm staring at ghosts of myself, haunting my house before I have even died. 

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