Physical Doorway (Three Ways) follows on from a series of works that conflate domestic things with emotional and psychological states – Expression Curtain 2013, Quick Pew 2013, Emotional Wall I (enclosed) 2012, II (and everything else) 2013 and III (demountable shelving unit) and Energetic Wedge 2015.

Physical Doorway (Three Ways) is the third manifestation of this text, the first appearing as a PowerPoint Show TRYING TO FIND THE PHYSICAL DOORWAY.pptx at Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany in 2015 and the second Physical Doorway and Energetic Wedge in a group show TPLOR at The Commercial Gallery Sydney in late 2015.

The text “PHYSICAL DOORWAY” is a direct quotation from a found card (from a kind of self-help version of Monopoly). The reverse side of the card advises: “CLEANSE: If something is not quite right, try a different approach.” This card haunted my wallet for a number of years before I gleaned from it linguistic content. The card has since been lost, and the pertinence of its advice lost on me.
In Physical Doorway (Three Ways) the words “physical doorway” are repeated three times on large square billboards, each digitally printed on mesh PVC banner in red and black ink. These billboards adorn the exterior of disused industrial building on the South-East side of Cockatoo Island.
Like much of my work, Microsoft PowerPoint both houses and informs my design process. In this sense, each billboard could be read as a PowerPoint slide, which when viewed in quick succession form a rudimentary PowerPoint animation – the door edging open and shut in out-of-order stutters.
Likewise, as in many of my PowerPoints, the hard-edge abstraction and Colourfield painting of Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella and Joseph Albers form visual reference points. Like Kelly in his Concorde series (in particular, Concorde Study 1955), this work visually courts an ambiguous and unresolved relation with the classic conundrums of painting: tensions between figure and ground; battles between depth of field and surface.

Similarly, in the traditions of Colourfield artists, the work invites the viewer into the field or void (depending on your perspective). In one billboard, the entrance is narrowed to a crack in the doorway (bringing to mind Duchamp’s Étant donnés (1965). In another, the door swings wide, more akin to the engulfing invitation into the sublime offered by Rothko’s Chapel (1971).

But the red that makes up the the field is not a pigment-laden oily and sumptuous ground. It is born in the click of a colour tab, reduced via a digital slider to its purest composition, and rendered in its CMYK form via dialogue boxes that enable me to export the file with reckless ease as a print ready PDF. The artwork travels from screen to site as an instruction or score, delegated to a sales manager, who redirects the data to a mammoth printer in order for the image – both field and doorway – to be pumped out in endless spurts of red ink, row upon row upon three perforated plastic sheaths.
This red square, as it appears here thrice behind each Physical Doorway, has as much to do with Malevich’s Visual Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions as it does to the cover of Talking Head’s first album :77. But perhaps most of all, it connects physically to the Coles Point of Sale Banners that preceded it on the printer, and that will continue consume the same red ink, again and again, in the same way, forever.