Domestic Choices: Installation by Bari Ziperstein
Curtains darken rooms, provide privacy, stave off drafts, and dampen noise. They serve these practical purposes while also offering beauty; they add color and perhaps pattern and soften windows’ right angles. Typically, a curtain’s decorative side faces inward, contributing to the overall design and mood of a room’s interior. Conceived specifically for Wende Museum’s original East German Guardhouse, Bari Ziperstein’s Domestic Choices (2022) is a set of painted and embroidered curtains encircling the interior of the guardhouse, which is lit from within to generate a warm glow. Rather than face inward, the curtains in Domestic Choices face outward, confusing not only the orientation of inside and outside but also the very purpose of curtains in general and the guardhouse itself, a tiny piece of architecture intended for privacy’s opposite: surveillance.