Portals are a liminal event not only between spaces but between states. Upstairs, James Garrett Junior creates a visual portal to view his tag “SCHMO,” which reveals a multiplicitous history of the building’s construction. To get upstairs, Jess Hirsch has turned the stairway into a passage not only through the Atlantic and the Pacific but between the state of remembering and the state of forgetting. Laura Bigger’s Portal explores a closet, almost psychedelically, with reflected geometries, a rainbow, and a black tunnel with a light at the end of it as a kind of antidote to the most cubicled space that is Alma Lights. It is a welcome portal to psychic states beyond the workaday world we normally inhabit.
In contrast to Jess Hirsch’s stairwell transit to the second floor, Laura Bigger’s Threshold is a bricked up portal, a dead end. She has taken a forgotten corner of Alma Lights that became unpurposed through the history of its remodelings, and created a subterranean subterfuge with crystal cloth, “cave sounds,” and electric torch lights that illuminate the mineral colors of the cave wall, nature cousins to the lurid glows of Wil Natzel’s Dazzle or the interstitial LED lighting of Molly Reichert and Sean Higgins’ Boolean View. Threshold is reminiscent of the cool breezes on one’s cheek shuffling through a spelunking site, catching glimpses of a slower, geologic time in the flashlight’s beam; an underground respite from the speeded up hubub above that whispers come tarry a while.