alex sanjurjo rubio
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Alex Sanjurjo Rubio




EXCLUDE is a reactive installation. It is a huge cube that occupies the entire exhibition space with transparent walls that let you see the empty interior. On each side of the cube there is an automatic door allowing you to step inside. If the visitor is at a distance from the automatic doors, they remain open, so that on approach the sensors record the presence of the visitor and the door they are trying to enter through closes, preventing them from going inside.

EXCLUDE is a metaphor for exclusion in all senses of the word, and how the response to exclusion is already automated. We are all both accomplices and victims of this exclusion, which not only refers to the obvious forms of exclusion such as hunger, water shortages, immigration, the impossibility of gaining access to housing, difficulties in finding employment or degrading working conditions, but also to the most common forms of exclusion, i.e., exclusion among neighbours, friends and close relatives. It is an inviting space which entices you in, one you want to enter but are denied access for no reason. This focuses our attention on trying to enter again in the hope we will be able to get inside the cube, without thinking that nothing would change if we succeed. We would simply see the exterior while trapped in a stifling interior and yearning to be outside. An irritation that makes us behave in line with the given stimulus; a behavioural society, restricted to stimulus and response. This is the frustration which lures us into trying again.


The coldness of the installation heightens emotional perception and triggers, such as being ignored, feelings of scorn, rejection, exclusion, such as the feeling of helplessness when you cannot meet someone to hold them accountable and to demand acknowledgement, giving away to other people the authority to recognise us: a lack of recognition and respect that depletes self-confidence, and compounds the obsessive compulsive behaviour of trying to enter again and again; an effort driven by frustration caused by the fact of being prevented from entering, thus changing the frustration into another stimulus. An anger that is accentuated by the unusual actions of doors which should not close on approaching them, a variation from the pattern that destabilises us because it does not comply with the standards to which it should, a space that is familiar to us because it is found in office buildings, department stores, infuriating us even more as we fail to understand why we are denied entry. EXCLUDE brings back that occasion when we were refused entry to some place and how that frustration turned to rage. A place devoid of rewards.


© Alex Sanjurjo Rubio
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