On The Doorway (2011)

Keywords: doorhandle, home, material semiotics, private-public, dialectic object

[…] In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard writes: “The door schematizes two strong possibilities, which sharply classify two types of daydream. At times, it is closed, bolted, padlocked. At others, it is open, that is to say, wide open. But,” continues Bachelard, “then come the hours of greater imagining sensibility. On May nights, when so many doors are closed, there is one that is just barely ajar. We have only to give it a very slight push! The hinges have been well oiled. And our fate becomes visible.” The door (and with it the knob that makes it function) is in fact the most rhetorical element present in a house: one passes, enters, exits through a door, crosses the threshold, penetrates another space with respect to that in which one is, these actions reflect the dialectic on which lies the ideology of the domestic space, or the relationship between opposites such as internal/external, public/private, familiar/uncanny, etc. Brovia and Cheng’s knob-jewels thus become conversation pieces for sounding the actuality of those dichotomies and therefore question the meanings that the concepts of house, domesticity, familiarity have assumed today. They themselves are “dialectic” objects: unite materials specific to domestic spaces (salt, copper, fabric, etc.) to others that are more precious, more akin to the jeweler’s art (ebony, silver, marble, jet, etc.), but without ever “betraying” the sensible properties of one or the other, thereby exalting intrinsic expressiveness: they are fragile and therefore precious objects, that are familiar, nonetheless, the way a jewel must be in the end.

Excerpt from On The Doorway exhibition catalogue, introduction text by Michele D’Aurizio.