William Adair’s Golden Doors to Infinity  // Sculpture

The Golden Doors to Infinity
Exhibit Dates:  January 15, 2015 through January 31, 2015

The Golden Doors to Infinity is a multifaceted, ongoing conceptual art project whereby abandoned doors become portals to foster cross-generational, interfaith and culturally diverse discourse. Each door is a messenger – placed to record the transient voices of individuals within a region and its environs. The process begins by collecting discarded doors that are covered with gold. Adair then relinquishes them to the public to be written and marked upon: a repository for words and images on an ever-fading, ever-eroding surface. They overlap and abrade yet pay homage to the world’s historical link with gold’s inherent value.

The project was conceived during a personal odyssey when the artist drove west across America. Alone and facing miles of desert, he meditated on Plato’s Theory of Forms which posits that ideas are more real than ordinary physical things. He became fascinated with the idea of intellectual property and the link between attachment and eventual loss that unites the human experience: in relationships between individuals and, on a universal scale, our interrelated dependence on precious commodities such as water, salt, oil and gold; all of which have inestimable value if in peril or gone forever.

When his journey landed him at Joshua Tree National Park in the California desert, he happened upon a memorial for singer and songwriter Gram Parsons, 1960s cultural music icon who died tragically young and whose friends had notoriously hijacked his coffin to burn him in the desert near Joshua Tree. The anthem most often associated with Parsons is the song “Sin City” (Gram Parsons and Christopher Hillman) with a refrain that captivated Adair: “On the 31st floor a gold-plated door/Won’t keep out the Lord’s burning rain.” The concept for The Golden Doors to Infinity began to resonate: as an homage to a 20th century artist, an ancient philosopher and the enduring relationship of people with each other and with respect to their environment.

The project stages include circulating the 31 doors to 31 historical sites worldwide where they will be written and marked upon by local residents. The doors will then be shipped to Joshua Tree, California for the grand installation. Adair will strategically place rocks – painted blue, white, black and gold to symbolize water, salt, oil and gold – at the base of the doors which will be half-buried and set in a circle around a central towering door that is 20 feet high. Participants will ceremoniously gild and mark this grand, communal door with final messages before it is destroyed by a flaming arrow.

For Adair, The Golden Doors to Infinity project represents a living timeline which elevates interpersonal histories above cultural commodities: the monetarily worthless doors, adorned with gold and effectively “vandalized” by their viewers, address the devaluation of goods and the intrinsic, sustaining value of intellectual property. As the artist comments: “I offer my audience a communal canvas; a platform to share our collective thoughts, hopes, dreams and prayers.”

Important!  All images within this post are © William Adair’s Golden Doors to Infinity. All rights reserved.

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