Senza titolo (Untitled)

Per Barclay

Oslo, Norway, 1955
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  • Material: 
    Stainless steel, glass and fluorescent light
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    200 x 180 x 250 cm
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The work of Per Barclay, which appears so cold, minimalist and airtight, is a reflection on the limits, fears and anxieties facing contemporary man in today’s society, and on the difficulties, despair and pessimism that mar an individual’s attempts at getting closer to others. The artist sees the effect of his work as being linked to a feeling that “one is always on the outside, the work allows nobody in. […] A feeling of anxiety [that] produces a certain violence.” 2001’s Senza titolo (Untitled) consists of the typical three-dimensional iconic image of a house, in this instance made of special mirrors that allow one to see into it, but not through it. This means that the viewer can see the interior space, but cannot know whether another person is also looking in from the other side, creating a game of ambiguity between outside and inside, privacy and exposure, a living space and a sealed space. As the artist himself says: “Your gaze can enter, but cannot see right through the house, it remains trapped inside […]. The house offers the idea of refuge, of boundaries with regard to the outside, but it does not hide you from view. Nothing can remain hidden, and in that sense, there is no protection.”

Carmen Fernández Aparicio