Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In the Media: The Happiness Project

Red door on Fern Alley, between Sutter and Bush off Polk in San Francisco

San Francisco artist Jeff Waldman has launched a project that installs small doors in blank walls at odd spots around San Francisco. He began with this small, scaled-down red door on Fern Alley.  Jeff has titled this particular door “Shut in,” and he regards it as a sort of paranoia piece. Its exterior is studded with a half dozen interior locks and an amber light that shines out of the oversize keyhole.  

Later doors were built by artists all around the country for Waldman to install around the city. At this point there are twenty in all, but by the sound of it, Waldman is hoping for many more contributions.

Here’s his description of his new doors project:
The idea is to install small doors, unexplained portals, throughout the city. To start, in San Francisco. These doors would be scaled down to a size that is cognitively possible but whimsically improbable. Tiny ones. Like, Alice Through The Looking Glass, maybe 15-25 inches or so. I don’t imagine them to be operable, but the more detailed in appearance the better.

Each artist would create his or her contribution to the project, where the frame, molding, window or lack of window, color, state of decay, and other intricate details speak to the artist’s unique take and contribution. The doors would be sent to me, to be installed by me and a couple others, around the bay area. Anyone based around here is more than welcome to join me as we find the best location for each piece. We’ll select spots that bode well aesthetically with the individual doors and are in areas that will see a lot of traffic but are least likely to be removed by anyone. Sounds contradictory? It is, but we’ll do our best.

The doors will be fixed with adhesive and installed in a way to look as natural as possible—as natural as a 16 inch tall weathered oak door can look on the side of parking garage. If anyone would want to stake out a spot before hand, via Google maps street view or some such method, and create a piece to be installed somewhere specific, that’s just fine. The installation process of each piece will be photographed along with reaction shots from passersby. The photographs, information, and story will probably be compiled together afterward– though into what I’m not sure. If this goes well I’d like to expand on or replicate the project in other cities.

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