Grace Dodge Hall 1st Floor, Russell Courtyard Entrance
Jean Marie Casbarian
Three Interludes for an Unheard Orchestra, 1997/2018
Spoken word recording by Fatima R., Rachel E., and Jean Marie C.
Audio, 3 minutes 24 seconds
For her installation, Casbarian was taken by the mosaics of women engaged in the daily tasks of the home that run along the ceiling of the vestibule, most specifically of a woman performing needlework. Grace Hoadley Dodge's gift to her mother, Sarah, in essence is this passing of knowledge emulating the timeless strength of women from one generation to the next. It prompted the artist to reflect on the story of Fatima, a young mother of two, who had survived the rape camps during the Bosnian War. Desperate and distraught at the height of the conflict, she decided to bring her rocking chair out to her front porch every morning at 8 a.m. and perform needlework until 5. If a sniper takes me out, fine, she said. If a bomb hits me…well then, I die.
Three Interludes for an Unheard Orchestra was inspired by Fatima’s daily act of silent protest. Passages from the Qur’an, Torah, and Bible point to the subjugation of women in holy books and the resulting trauma that women often bear at the expense of religious wars.