Women wait. They wait for their bodies, through fertility, through pregnancy, and can watch the passage of time written on their own biology. They wait for husbands and children. They wait for social realities, for equality, for changing climates and attitudes. Women are symbolically and psychologically tied to time. Just as photography captures a specific moment in time and place, the mythology of a woman waiting occupies eternal time and space, a metaphor for emotional intensity caught in a state of inertia.
The woman depicted in the image is an allegory, or ghost, of an emotional state of being. The female form has been digitally composited into a space which lies in permanent untouched stasis: the curated period room in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These spaces, and the furnishings contained within them, have lived extensive lives. They now lie quiet, waiting for the next entity or energy to fill the void. Each space embodies the vitality of the residents, patrons, and visitors who once owned, touched, and interacted with the furnishings. The empty space now years for an emotional interloper to recharge the vacant atmosphere.
The juxtaposition of the museum setting, the metaphorical female, and the voyeuristic gaze of the photography lens capture the poignant imprint of a ‘woman waiting’ in a static space.
From top left:
Waiting at the Hôtel de Cabris, 8 x 10 inches, tintype
Waiting at the Palais Royal, 10 x 8 inches, tintype
Waiting for water, 10 x 8 inches, tintype
Waiting at the Sagredo Palace, 8 x 10 inches, tintype