Stolen Moments Stories
In her first post for the Foam Blog, Yasmine Chatila
shares a diary exract from her surveillance project.
Chelsea, March 20, 6:35 pm
It is my third night of surveillance from this Chelsea location.
So far there are some promising characters. The nature of their
qualities disturbs me since they are mostly physically unattractive
persons, with blatant sexual behavior, that is not aesthetic in any
stretch of the imagination. Three masturbators, one woman and two
men, all in separate apartments in the space of two nights. This
has never happened before. The night falls, and the windows
become illuminated like twinkling christmas lights. The contrast
between the blue sky and the warm orange glow of the windows evoke
privacy, home and the realm of the familiar. As the night falls I
am filled with dread at the prospect of seeing yet another person
blatantly masturbating in plain sight, no curtains, lights on, and
totally naked. I feel the sexual tension here more than anywhere
else, it is not a happy one, there is darkness in it. Like animals
behind bars displaying desperate and tragic signs of
neurosis, they furiously jerk their members, looking for solace,
for relief.The sirens hum at some emergency. A tiny splinter of the
fabric of this city is experiencing tragedy at this very moment.
The city moves on, undaunted, albeit slightly annoyed at the
assault on the ears.
A thick fog has landed. Everything is blurry. The city is
steeped in orange, its the next best thing to curtains.
Thank god no masturbators tonight, so far.
The American flag flutters furiously against the warm gray
sky. Lady liberty is giving me her back, but she is as a
consolation steeped in milky brown atmosphere, and I think she
looks glorious. Thousand of windows shimmer in the distance. So
many stories, so many people. Too bad my lens cant reach them. As
for characters, an old man that looks just like santa reads a book
on his sofa. His humble inquisition into the pages warms my heart.
A few windows to the left and two above the silhouette of a young
woman with a bob and a generous figure is framed by a quaint
country style kitchen. Photos on the fridge, wish I could see them
March 21, 7:03 pm
The night falls on the city steeping it in a sea of black ink.
With the flicking of a switch the windows reveal themselves one by
one, each character gently offers himself to be
witnessed. last night I felt real love feelings for my "santa
guy". I am weary of this surge of emotion since I am trying to stay
as neutral as possible. If I love "Santa", and am disgusted by the
masturbator, I wouldn't be able to absorb the strange beauty that
connects us all. Only with this in mind and from this point of view
can I investigate the lives of these people . I have my perfect
shot of him, so I wont be back to his place anytime soon, but
knowing he is there, and seeing his light on from the corner of my
eye will accompany my journey into all his neighbors lives.