Lamia Khorshid "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, FortOak"
"Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, FortOak"
The first time, since all of this, that we took a walk in our neighborhood at night, I was stunned, and a deep sadness washed over me as I passed our local restaurants, empty, locked, and through the dazzling glass storefronts, my gaze fell on stacked chairs on top of empty tables. Tears welled up in my eyes. Immediately, I heard a song in my mind, the chorus to “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserable, with a completely different context, taking on a metaphor of grief through the knowledge of deaths around the world, caused by the COVID-19 virus. In the images, the real and recognizable objects, such as the chairs and tables, are shot through the glass storefronts at night from the exterior looking in, mingling with shadows, the reflections in the glass, the refractions of light, and the color emanating from varying light sources to create a surreal landscape, echoing the intangible feeling of disbelief, of the unimaginable now seen, of the emptiness that continues to surround us in familiar places, such as our neighborhoods.