Marie José Burki

Exposure: Dawn I, II , III, Switzerland, 1997

Video, no sound, 20:09 min.

The Three women put on show in the display windows represent a reality wherein hundreds of thousands of other women are imprisoned within a cycle of prostitution, with a flourishing trade in women and a thriving sex industry.

These women are at the mercy of their employers; they may find themselves discarded, their destiny dependent upon the goodwill of their clients.

The industrialized trade in women, conducted by criminal organizations, has billions of dollars changing hands every year, as well as settling the hopeless fate of the forsaken women caught up in it.

Most of the women, coming from the countries of the East and the former Soviet Union, are transported by a wide variety of means, via arduous routes. Enticed by promises that are never kept, they are imprisoned within a cycle from which there is no escape.

The artist has blurred their features, with the aim of obscuring their true identity; with that, their faces represent all the other women who suffer a similar fate.

As marketable commodities, the women’s voices are not heard, their mute outcry too brief to save them. This is slavery under the neon lighting that illuminates their abandoned bodies for the eyes of passers-by in real life, and symbolically, in the museum space.