Artwork > Caught from the wind and anchored to the arch قوس قزح

This collaborative installation with Maryam Taghavi grew out of a site specific exploration of both the entrance to the house and the front porch. By an unusual shift in one’s sightline before entering the house, Taghavi and Burtonwood delay the experience of passage from one place to another.

The installation consists of two parts: four acrylic mirrors are mounted above the doorway, originally designed by architect Arthur Woltersdorf in 1910. These panels extend away from the ornamented entrance and arch over the viewer’s head.

The uncanny visual experience of the concave mirrors dislocates one’s perception of their body in relation to itself, and to its surrounding. The body centers, doubles and disappears, while its image is caught between what is behind it and what is before it. In this sense, the street, the garden, and the porch appear on the same plane where the reflection, by its infinite play, slows down the the body before stepping forward. The space of transition, therefore, becomes a place of lingering.

This project, in contrast to the iconic Chicago architectural ornamentation, proposes a fragile intervention onto the secure structure of the building to draw attention to the existence of itinerant lives and qualities inherent to it.


Living Architecture at 6018 North, Art Design Chicago, Chicago, IL, 2019 curated by Tricia Van Eck and Teresa Silva.