Site-specific installation, St, Cecilia's Convent, Brooklyn, NY
13 black and white photos and a light bulb
This installation in one of the nuns’ cells documents all of the other cells in the convent.
The nuns' self-imposed "confinement" (as part of a spiritual commitment) exposes the institutionalization of spirituality as an oddly successful container. These cells were private places. Simultaneously there is an equal but opposite characteristic of their design. A window (standard sized, but that takes up at least half of the wall in which it is placed) is at one end of each narrow room, a door to the corridor at the other, creating a tunnel between interior and exterior, also a challenging place to lodge oneself.
All images copyright Jill O'Bryan