wood, paint and bronze door viewers
Art gallery Departemento 21 (Apartment 21) is a well-know Chilean contemporary art gallery established on two floors of a residential apartment building in Santiago. The gallery was set behind a plain unmarked door, with no signs that announced it as a gallery. After several years, the gallery director commissioned Sebastian Errazuriz to redesign the entry door of the gallery, as a sculpture, an art piece in itself.
While attempting to come up with a concept, Errazuriz explains : « I tried to resist ‘designing a door’. I didn't want to create a door that was sculptural or pictorial ; I wanted the door to hopefully continue to blend in with the rest of the building and maintain its apparent anonymity as just another apartment. Nevertheless, I also wished to leave a small clue that would invite the passerby to stop, look twice, and suspect that something was different. It occurred to me that we have used door viewers for a couple hundred years. We have been stupidly squinting and closing one eye for all of this time, and yet never thought to have a two viewer instead, even though binoculars have been around for even
longer ? »
The two viewers are placed inverted inside the door, thus allowing people outside to approach the door and look inside the apartment, seeing the current exhibition, which remains illuminated even when the gallery is closed.