Like Looking Away


Like Looking Away includes interviews with ten young women, ages 18-34. Three questions about the activity of shopping were asked of each interviewee, with responses ranging from euphoria to anguish, and including discussion about bodies, money, space, femininity, class, guilt, paranoia, and pleasure. 

Falling at the start of the interviews, the September 11th 2001 attack on the World Trade Center prompted the inclusion of a fourth question. The transcribed responses were formed into short soliloquies, editing out questions and references to to shopping. For the project, one actress, who approximates the qualities of the original voices of the women - their regional accents, the timbre of their voices, the projection of their personalities and ages - performs the recorded soliloquies. This audio is the soundtrack for a projected video loop of a 2002 blockbuster Hollywood action-adventure movie in which all images except the most violent have been edited out. The explosive images are shown in slow and stop-action motion. 

The installation also includes a grid of larger than life-size photographic portraits of the interviewed women, made while the women were listening to recorded playbacks of their own interviews.  See selections of portrait images on this website link:

(30 photographs; each 16"x24"; video & audio loop, 25 min.; voiceover: Rachel Astarte-Piccione). In the collection of MAMCO, Geneva.

Selected transcriptions can be found in inadequate...Like...Power
(See Publications)

At left is an excerpt of the video element of the project. See the portraits on this website link:

Click here for Transcript Excerpt

Selected Bibliography

"She-Fox," by Mignon Nixon, Women Artists at the Millenium (MIT Press, 2006).

"Hal Foster interviews Silvia Kolbowski," inadequate...Like...Power, (Secession, Vienna, and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Cologne, 2004) English and German.

"Oral Histories: Silvia Kolbowski and the Dynamics of Transference," by Mignon Nixon, inadequate...Like...Power, (Secession, Vienna, and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, Cologne) English and German.
(See Publications)

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© 2024 Silvia Kolbowski