PORTA, 15th October 2010
80 35mm slides
I removed the door of a space at Rua Dos Caldeireiros 77 in Oporto, Portugal. The entrance remained opened without surveillance or security for 48 hrs. Me along Mauro Cerqueira and André Sousa walked by each 30 minutes. I documented the event with 35mm slides and drawings, André Sousa and Pedro Magalhaes with video and digital snapshots.
The space suffered changes in the first hours. Militão, a junky from the neighborhood, started leaving drawings on the wall, and two persons slept in the last room, they closed the room’s door and turned off the lights of the back part of the space, leaving only the lights of the entrance on. They slept there. We didn’t intervene. The day after there was a strong smell: a mixture of strong human transpiration, crack and humidity. Also, two cardboards used as beds, a bottle of beer, a can, cotton, bandages, cigarette butts, etc.
The last hours we documented on video from the inside of the space and the outside. Many people passed by estranged, probably wondering when we would leave the place.
Since the beginning, the sense of responsibility assaulted my friends, thinking about the probability of danger. I tried to convince them to leave the space without the door. I persuaded them. On the second night I couldn’t persuade them any longer. We put the door back.
If the conception of space has been a proper territory of mathematicians and metaphysics, I strongly believe that first of all it is configured by a theft, that of private property. Any space is private property before any abstract definition of it, albeit private being in a first moment an abstraction. This abstraction defines further our belief and sense of responsibility.
Changing the configuration of the space by removing the door had as a premise the space as a plateau of immanence where diverse affections could transit. In this sense this space becomes a monitor for what Our Space has produced: Private Property, a moral that serves it, and its margins.
JUAN PABLO MACIAS