Julie Rafalski

Doors, Lights, Curtains

Last weekend I went to see the Martin Creed show at the Hayward. It contained several pieces which can be described as architectural interventions such as doors opening and closing and a stack of tiles that match the floor tiles of the gallery. There was also a set of black curtains that kept opening and closing, causing a mechanical noise that sounded like an amplified mosquito hum. The curtains controlled our view out the window, deciding when we can look out onto a piece on the terrace, a fake brick wall.

These pieces are particularly absurd as they seem to suggest that the gallery walls and floor have a mind of their own. These works defy the natural order of things; they defy the way doors don't open and shut without an external cause, curtains remain closed until someone pulls at them. They seem to suggest an alternate reality, where the normal rules no longer apply. Doors open and shut and lights switch on and off of their own accord; we are no longer in control. We are trapped, as in a dream, where the scenery changes and events ensue while all we can do is watch.

In this unpredictable world, we do not know what will happen once we turn the corner, enter a room, or look out the window. What is predictable, suddenly is not. The illusion of predictability is shattered.