Cleaning Windows

Home / Cleaning Windows

Cleaning Windows

The film is 15 minutes long and consists of one long take in real time. It features a middle-aged woman applying ‘window polish’ with her hand and then licking the window clean. There is a soundtrack of incidental and synchronous sound intercepted intermittently with the contrapuntal sound of a Pilates class. This establishes a dichotomy relating to the manner in which bodies are physically utilised; Pilates allows people to exercise and tone their bodies in a controlled and balanced manner whilst the nature of manual labour associated with cleaning is unbalanced and repetitive.

The viewer can see that the woman is dressed in a culturally and practically inappropriate pinstripe suit. She is also depersonalised; only gradually does she reveal herself as the ‘window polish’ is licked away.

I have produced solo performances inspired by but different from contemporary dance and through this performance art, pursued my interest in repetitive movement and audience placement. My interest in the way that human movement and bodies are perceived led to my appropriation of video as a means to explore social and cultural issues.

The film explores the formal structures of film and highlights the way that sound contributes to viewer perception of framed movement. It also draws attention to the portrayal of women in film and in particular, in close-up.

Presented at

Greenroom, Manchester and Red Wire Gallery, Liverpool


Cleaning, Exercise, Film