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Caroline Wendling

Caroline Wendling

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Gateway

Interactive video installation 60 x 80cm

A fast paced video of layered, abstracted crowds of people is played on a screen concealed behind a door. The flickering of light from the video when the door is closed tempts the viewer to look inside. It encourages the viewer to physically interact with the work. Sound is activated by a switch when the door is opened to surprise and confront the participant. The triggering of audio when the door is opened emphasises the actual gesture of opening and closing the door.

Through this installation, the door is explored as a symbol of human control. The door simultaneously isolates and connects spaces acting as a physical barrier, but more importantly as a psychological one.


The psychological symbolism of the door manifests within language, films, and art forms. "Behind closed doors", "as one door closes another opens", "doors of opportunity" are common sayings within language.

Literature and films often use open and closed doors to reflect a characters emotional and psychological situations. Whether a character is trapped behind a closed door, or can not gain access into a space because of a closed door, it gives us the sense of their lack of control. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights makes use of such symbolism throughout the novel; while the protagonist in Orson Welles' film The Trial, based on Franz Kafka's novel, is helplessly being pushed and pulled through various doors while being locked behind others.

Doors can often be observed as portals. The main character in the film American Beauty passes through the threshold of a door into his own dream. Children's films such as Narnia and Monsters Inc. are centred around the idea portals, which suggests that the understanding of the language of doors begins at a young age.

This installation is only a small representation of some of my thought processes revolving around the powerful symbolism and language of the door.

Project Tags

  • gateway
  • installation art
  • projection
  • video art

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