During the COVID-19 Spring of 2020, French-born, Los Angeles–based photographer Michele Mattei began to contemplate what it meant for people worldwide to be shut inside their homes. She wondered about the multitude of lives confined behind closed windows and doors, which for her called to mind the opening passage of Charles Baudelaire’s 1869 poem Les fenêtres (Windows), which she has loved since early childhood:

He who looks out at the world from an open window never sees as many things as he who looks at a closed window. There is nothing deeper, more mysterious, more fruitful, more shadowy, or more dazzling than a window lit by a candle. What we can see in daylight is always less interesting than what happens behind a windowpane. Deep in that dark or luminous aperture, life lives, life dreams, life suffers.1

Thus inspired, Mattei sought to give form to what she describes as...

You do not currently have access to this content.