Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Delphine Seyrig, Jan Decorte, Henri Storck, J. Doniol-Valcroze,
Growing up, Chantal Akerman became aware that for women of her mother’s generation the unending repetition of domestic duties became a proxy for emotion and self-expression. For Jeanne Dielman, Akerman chose Delphine Seyrig as the only actor who could make visible domestic tasks that normally go unnoticed. Watching Jeanne cook, mend, wash dishes, shine shoes, have sex for cash, bathe, and set the table—all in what feels like real time—becomes a visceral experience, as we become so habituated to the rhythm of her routine that even the slightest variation suggests the potential for something other than the potatoes to boil over.