Opening the window to the world
Some people say that if the window frames of familoks were painted in red, the miners lived in there, and if there were greenhouses - the metallurgists. I cannot find confirmation of such symbolic distinction, and my observations do not confirm it, however, these two colors are definitely characteristic of Silesian windows. From this sign of bright, strongly marked frames come out the reflections on the project "Silesia" and the community, formed by Katarzyna and Krzysztof Nawratek in the article "Silesia in a red frame".1
According to them, windows are a very clearly marked border, as they exist at the interface between the private and intimate, the public and external.
// Referring to the symbolic image of the Silesian window, the authors draw attention to the cultural message: here, behind these clean windows and white curtains, decent people live.
Workers who clean and care for their own, because the bond that connects the society in which they live is work.
The window in this text is a symbol of a certain withdrawal of Silesians expressed in the social contract, according to which "one shall not to ask, and the others not to speak about its intimacy." According to the authors, the geopolitical issues of this region have created a lack of trust in the public sphere and all institutions in the Silesians. If the windows are open, it is only for the informal public space of the courtyards, which the neighbors have access to, that is, "theirs". This favored the creation of backyard enclaves - seemingly open, but still elite, because not everyone was qualified for familok and not everyone was welcome in the yard. The window itself is here not only a showcase of the family but also a watchtower from which the world is observed and ... at the same time it is controlled.
The etchings of Jan Szmatloch, on which windows play the main role, beautifully illustrate it. The artist uses this symbol to create his own story about the passing of the landscape, which may be Silesian, but at the same time, it is quite universal. It is a story about the neighborhood, something close and alienated, marked by the presence, but unpopulated. It is also the world of a voyeur who tries to interpret the world around him and find his place in it. However, let's go to the words of the artist, with whom I had the pleasure to talk:
M.P .: As a creed, you accepted the view of the world from the perspective of the window.
J.S .: These are actually two perspectives. From inside the house towards the landscape and inside. So I'm also previewing what is happening at home. I watch what happens in these windows, or what may happen. (...)
And one more thing - please do not believe that I am quoting a reality. Visions in graphics are very real but still imagined. I am not a naturalist, I do not imitate the reality from the pictures, although I am captivated by the details that are important to me, because they talk about something more than just the open window and the curtain flying on the wind ...2