Sunday, 13 November 2011

Doorways

The first automatically opening doorway I ever saw was at the Science Museum in London when I was a small child. For a long time, it was the only one in the city. Now though, electronic doorways are all over the place.They are great if your hands are full, but they don't add much to the beauty of our surroundings.

As well as often being rather lovely, many doorways in buildings built before the technological age were so big and heavy that they needed a full-time employee to hold them open. Thus were livelihoods provided for numerous people. But what of their descendants? Unable to fulfil their ancestral function, they loll about in stinking highrises, watching Big Brother and stuffing themselves with chips. Progress, eh:

























































7 comments:

  1. Some of those are really fantastic. I remember being very impressed with the doorways in Spain. How many different countries were these photos taken in?

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  2. The four before the last one are Spanish (including two from the Alhambra and one from Seville Cathedral) but the rest are all from Hungary, Nurse.

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  3. I remember the automatic door at the Science Museum. It was the highlight of my visit, along with the magical 'Night and Day' displays of Britain through the ages.

    Remarkably, the automatic door is still there (or was when I visited a couple of years ago). It was interesting how something that once seemed miraculous was now incongruous and slightly absurd - a commonplace object elevated to the status of a scientific wonder. It's a pity that the Museum didn't have a text that explained its context.

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  4. It did seem a wonder. I also liked the things for children downstairs, where you could crank things up so that they moved - I remember a model of an animal (donkey, buffalo?) pumping water in a desert somewhere, as well as a chart to test whether you were colour blind (which you didn't have to crank, obviously).

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  5. I usually enjoy and admire your blogs, ZMKC, but I'm going to have to pull you up for stigmatising people descended from door attendants as people who 'loll about in stinking highrises, watching Big Brother and stuffing themselves with chips'. It just so happens that my grandfather was a door attendant and I can assure that your characterisation is crude at best. I, for example, when not reading your blogs, divide my time between work as a diversity consultant and as an eating disorder counsellor. A long way from your rather crude stereotype, I'm sure on reflection you'd agree!

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  6. I love you so much, Barbara, you and your excellent works

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  7. Those are some attractive doors. And interesting to see that the idea of cage bars crops up in several of them -- not to trap people out or in, but to let them see inside and yet not get inside, sort of a "Ha-ha, look, we've got our interior boxed inside this cage and you can't have it. Back off, Tantalus." Or, from the point of view of the inside: "Ha-ha, we've got the entire outside world here, and you can't have it either, unless we decide to give it to you." Several of the casinos here in Las Vegas have huge revolving doors, and you see people hesitating in front of them before they rustle up the courage to step inside. Massive heavy glassy whisk-blades, like industrial washing machines.

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