Behind the Curtain with Cayla Morganstern

Cayla Morganstern is currently working on her senior art show, in which she wants viewers to feel like a "voyeur."
Cayla Morganstern is currently working on her senior art show, in which she wants viewers to feel like a "voyeur."

You’re walking down the street at night and you see a shadow glide across someone’s fifth story apartment window. There’s an intriguing and mysterious element associated with that faceless, nameless shadow and fourth-year photography major Cayla Morganstern is trying to incorporate that into her artistic work.

Morganstern is currently working on her senior art show. She wants the viewer to feel like a “voyeur,” peering into the daily and sometimes mundane tasks performed in people’s lives. Morganstern is using photographic stills and video, both two very different mediums in terms of motion, and reconciling them with “electronic logistics.”

For her project, she is taking photo stills of apartment buildings at night with lights on, appearing to have a glow, and printing them out. She then cuts them into four and they ultimately resemble white windows. She continues by filming people’s shadows behind a curtain doing certain tasks, like folding laundry or sipping wine. Finally, the two pieces will be put together by projecting video onto the photographs, where the white photographic windows will be filled with these shadowy figures.

“[It’s] not a play, it’ll be like walking down the street and this is what I would see,” she said.

She said people have compared it to the movie “Rear Window” but “staying away from the dramatic Jimmy Stewart scenes.”

Two of her favorites in her collection include one of a couple slow dancing, which she calls precious, and the other is a shadow of a woman holding a wine glass. She drew from its meaning that the person looks lonely and is waiting for someone, describing it as a “hidden story.”

She said she is ready to graduate but as for being prepared, that’s another story. She hopes to attend graduate school for her masters in art education, and she has a few interviews lined up for that.

“[I’m a] bad artist in a sense that I need security, need something,” said Morganstern.

Morganstern’s art show starts May 6 and runs until May 10. The opening night reception is from 5 to 7 p.m.