The Pelgrims house is a magnificent building from the early 20th century, combining past architectural styles as interpreted according to the taste of the time; akin to Norma Desmond, the character in film Sunset Boulevard, an aging star of silent cinema homebound in her mansion. As in this Wilder film, the setting mirrors the personality of the main character. The Pelgrims house also seems lost in megalomaniacal memories, like an old lady trying to stop time: magnificent and proud, haunted by her past greatness – a fallen star, both tragic and disquieting at the same time. Like her, the house is equally dusty and obsolete, inhabited by the spirit of another time, ostentatious and seductive.
As one peruses the rooms in this grand house the genius loci becomes apparent: the very characteristic floors creak; their chant, piercing. The mansion’s skin, its walls, are covered with sumptuous fabrics that seem to suffocate under the wooden boards installed to protect and, at the same time, hide them. Here and there it oozes a little, water marks drawing dark meanders that mingle with the shadows from the trees; gentle drafts blow right across it. The house speaks, breaths, moves, and lives through its faults, both beautiful and destructive. Luxury and melancholy coexist in the spaces where one can feel a heartbeat.
A house is a receptacle of intimacies, it speaks of the lives that have inhabited it, as well as of their ends; whilst she remains standing, defying time. The show Norma is articulated around the understanding that the desire to live is the essence of beings and things, be it objects, plants, materials, patterns. It marks their relationship to time, their own finitude, their eternal becoming.