West of Rome Public Art continues its Women in the City series with Jennifer Bolande's “Plywood Curtains”, a series of site-specific sculptural installations designed to activate the windows of empty storefronts all over the greater Los Angeles area. 

Curtains are thresholds into other realms, that of the theatrical, public, and/or private. They can signify both the end and also the beginning of something. 
Plywood, one of the most prevalent and least expensive building materials, is often used to "board-up" windows and doors in the event of vandalism, fires, flooding, and is used to designate closed or vacated properties. Bolande will use vacant storefronts to stage her project, bringing a different kind of attention to spaces that are momentarily empty and neglected. Bolande's “boarded” windows solicit a double-take, they are deceiving at first glance, seeming to be merely a sign of construction or destruction. A second look reveals that they are not rigid at all, but pleated fabric curtains in the image of plywood. Made by photographing sheets of plywood, the image is then printed on fabric at actual scale, and made into curtains. That which at first appeared impenetrable and abject is revealed to be mobile, yielding, even beautiful. The curtains will draw attention and significance through the repetition of encounters viewers have with the work while driving or walking by. 

The first curtains went up in July 2010, and will increase in number and change location following the changing real estate landscape. “Plywood Curtains” was born out of West of Rome Public Art's mission of supporting the realization of public art projects in unusual locations throughout Los Angeles, while engaging the public in experiences unique to the city and related to the present. 

 

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