Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Portal 6

Portal 6: New Haven (20 November 2011)
(For other works in my Portals series, click here.)

A doorway is more than merely a hole in a wall through which we get from outside to inside or from one room into the next. A doorway is more than a practical necessity brought about by our predilection for dividing up the space of the world by building walls. A doorway is an instrument for the management and nuancing of space; it is also a punctuation in our experience of the world, and has psychological effects on how we see the world and how we behave. . . . A doorway is a locus of opposites and contradiction. It links spaces on either side of a barrier but it also divides those spaces. It creates a sense of otherness in places and between the occupants of those places. A doorway discriminates between those who may pass through and those whom are excluded. Often they are guarded and kept under surveillance. Usually they can be locked shut. A doorway hides more than it reveals, and controls what may be seen. Passing through a doorway may be a challenge but it is also often a reassurance, the attainment of a place of safety and privacy. . . . As in-between places, doorways are where we can be in a state of being neither here nor there, in limbo, a transitional state of becoming rather than being.

-- from Simon Unwin, Doorway (London: Routledge, 2007), p. 205

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