Vestoj x VNIVRS: Constellations in Art, Theatre and Fashion

Glass and Windows

IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF truths in a theatrical, fashion and art context, glass and windows can play a discrete yet significant role. A material that moves between obstruction and amplification – being used to focus or divide subjects on a stage – glass reinforces theatre and fashion’s tradition of trickery and deception.

A person on stage has a dual experience: as witness to immediacy of her own presence, and also as a spectacle consumed by the audience. This parallel positioning and distance is manipulated even further by the use of glass, whereby the image of a subject might be fragmented, divided or isolated as a figure on stage.

‘Geometric forms inhabited and activated by the presence of the viewer, [producing] a sense of uneasiness and psychological alienation through a constant play between feelings of inclusion and exclusion.’

 – Dan Graham

Dan Graham, Two-way Mirror Punched Steel Hedge Labyrinth, 1994-1996, courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.
Dan Graham, Ying/Yang Pavilion, 2003.

‘Within theatrical jargon a syntagm fourth wall stands for the imaginary, fictive partition between the actor and the audience […] Spy-glass mirror acting as the front wall of the cube, separates the encapsulated stage from the voyeurist audience, which the actors now cannot see, facing instead their own multiplied image.’

– Description of ‘Inferno / Divine Comedy’ directed by Tomaz Pandur and written by Dante Alighieri, at the National Theatre Maria Guerrero, Madrid 2005.

‘Inferno / Divine Comedy’, written by Dante Alighieri, directed by Tomaz Pandur, scenography by Numen, 2005.

‘[…] the front gauze flew up and the lights brightened to reveal an impressive, appropriately rather gloomy set, with huge windows set at an angle and letting us understand that the “cart” had, in fact, been a centrally placed four-poster bed […]’

– ‘The Turn of the Screw’ directed by Benjamin Britten, 2010, review by Peter Lathan for The British Theatre Guide.

‘The Turn of the Screw’, directed by Benjamin Britten, adapted from the story by Henry James, 2010.
‘Faith, Hope and Charity (Glaube Liebe Hoffnung)’, directed by Christoph Marthaler, written by Ödön von Horváth and Lukas Kristl, scenography by Anna Viebrock, 2012.
Macbeth, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov, opera by Guiseppi Verdi, conducted by Teodor Currentzis, 2009.
Alexander McQueen, spring/summer 2001 ‘Voss’.
Mango, spring/summer 2011, Madrid.
Guy Bourdin for Vogue, 1975.
Steven Meisel for Vogue, September 1993.
Jil Sander spring/summer 2000 campaign, photography by Mario Sorrenti.
Anna Ellinor Sundström is a photographer, filmmaker and founder of VNIVRS.