Nora Wendl | I Listened (56:11 – 58:23)
Archival digital print on glass | 2018
Nora Wendl is an architect, writer, and artist. "I Listened for the Echoes of Your Voice" project description: "Dr. Edith Farnsworth commissioned the all-glass Farnsworth House, located in Plano, IL, from German émigré architect Mies van der Rohe, yet she is often simply remembered for her rumored romance with him and the fact that the two had a fallout in court over costs associated with the house.
I was permitted to collect sounds in the house however, I was prohibited from doing anything domestic: flush a toilet, make tea, or smoke a cigarette (even on the porch, as Dr. Farnsworth would have). But I could hire a violinist to play a piece—one Dr. Farnsworth played—and I could have a cocktail.
On August 31, I made and consumed a martini under the watchful gaze of a tour guide/guard. Fortified by vodka, and momentarily emboldened when the guard was otherwise engaged, I walked throughout the house while my partner photographed my activities. The photographs are titled with the minute and second they occurred.
The recorded sound is that of the violin overlaid with that of the landscape, which originally drew Dr. Farnsworth to this place. Additionally, there is the sound of the nearby freeway, a reminder of the futility in attempting to preserve architecture.
This project is a stop-gap measure to temporarily preserve the Farnsworth House through what are perhaps its last recorded spontaneous human moments. In them, I listened for the elusive sounds of a woman, alone, doing simple things in a glass house."