The Least of the Doorkeepers (It is Possible but Not at the Moment) is a work by Catherine Ryan and I that consists of a pair of mobile razor wire fences. The fences are conceived to be moved around the gallery in a series of choreographic patterns that block and reroute the movement of gallery visitors. The title of the work references Franz Kafka’s parable, “Before The Law“.
We were commissioned to create the work for the exhibition Borders, Barriers, Walls, curated by Francis E. Parker at the Monash University Museum of Art. We devised a special performance, with choreographer Ashley Dyer, to take place during the Borders, Barriers, Walls opening event on Wednesday 4 May 2016. On this occasion a pair of uniformed guards moved the fences around the gallery, variously interrupting, inhibiting or redirecting the passage of viewers through the museum. If asked about their activities the guards gave evasive answers aimed at deferring people’s progress and frustrating the enquirer.
The mobile razor wire fences are a response to press images of train carriages covered in razor wire that were used to plug gaps in the border between Hungary and Serbia, when the mass movement of refugees in Europe in October 2015 saw countries hastily seal their borders.
Reviewer, Robert Nelson, describes the fences as malicious parapets that “almost literally catches your eye with sublime terror“.
Photos by Christian Capurro and Zan Wimberley.