Gatekeepers, 2023

Kasia Fudakowski, Gatekeepers, 2023; Steel, wood, nylon fringing; 87 × 140.5 × 8 cm

A steel barrier, consisting of two outstretched hands, suspended at the end of two bulbous arms, blocks the entrance to the gallery. One hand holds a wad of cash and seems to be giving it to the other. To enter, the visitor must push their way through, interrupting the transaction. The spring-loaded double-action hinges, which allow each arm of the gate to swing both in and out of the gallery space, are tight. So tight that their movement is quick and aggressive. The visitor will feel the gate swing back sharply behind them, and they must take care that whoever follows them is not injured in the process.

The title references the often referred to criticism of people or institutions in power of controlling who and what becomes part of contemporary history. As the gallery celebrates 15 years of survival, its future role in choosing, shaping, and nurturing artistic endeavors is all the more critical.

Photos by Marjorie Brunet Plaza