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.