We are all familiar with Heaven’s Gate. Or Jacob’s Ladder.
Throughout history there has been reference to this portal to the heavens. Throughout almost every culture and throughout all areas of the world. There are gods up there, a place that is better than the one here. The understanding of what kind of gods has differed throughout history as well. Some believe it to be God while some believe aliens are the real gods. Either way the metaphor remains the same. Through a portal there is the ability to gain access to somewhere better. To feel better. To be surrounded by better people. But how to reach that doorway varies depending on who you are talking to and when in history you speak to them.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted to reach the access point to get to the better. I have always been more partial to the idea of an alien abduction. For that reason I constantly put myself in the position of almost asking for an abduction. Viewing the abduction as the portal. Many times I laid out in the middle a large ditch on my street in the middle of the night just waiting for them to come. Giving myself up voluntarily. When the abductions didn't happen I tried various other methods to climb out of the place I was in with no avail.
At some point I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that moving to this other realm required having a conversation with myself. So I set up multiple mirrors so I could stare at myself and talk freely. It wasn't until that moment that I figured out that part of what was holding me back from my destination was myself. By confronting the reflection staring back at me I finally understood that I needed to meet myself halfway in both directions to open the doorway. Myself and my clone were each other's keys to the other place.
The truth of a portal was conveyed to me at a young age and I have slowly stood that truth upright by making my work. I have created a kind of junk drawer space in my mind where I can put all my thoughts and feelings that cause me pain. In a kind of self-inflicted exorcism I take that part of me, extract it and make something to hold it: a painting, sculpture, diary entry. My junk drawer looks like my old house. Everything gets put into a specific place and filed away in a separate compartment or room. Everything is connected and all the pieces talk to one another through sinister little conversations through a keyhole, or whispers that scatter through the space. Every piece acts as a new portal and transports me to a better version of myself. A version that doesn't have the burden of those feelings or thoughts anymore, I'm a new me who holds the key to the junk drawer and has the ability to open that portal if I ever felt the need. It can be detrimental at times to have that key but I know where those things are and can control when they come out.
Under a specific set of circumstances within my practice I gain the ability to become a portal for other objects too. Just as I was laying in the ditch waiting for abduction there are objects that are left abandoned, laid out waiting for their own abduction. In that instance I am the ladder; my name is Jacob. I can give these objects a new life and a new meaning by giving them a new home home within my work.
Through my process of opening and reopening and becoming a portal the movement through life becomes cyclical and never ending as long as I keep making.