Untitled (Key)

2022
Brass-Nickel
10.5 x 2.5 cm

Untitled (Key) was conceived as the embodiment of a dream whose precise origins remain obscure — the enigmatic nature of the subconscious being what it is— but whose influences are likely traceable to a series of specific references and interests.

Among these is the Berlin key, known in German as the “Durchsteckschlüssel,” an object designed for security purposes. With two identical blades at each end, its unique mechanism makes it impossible to forget to lock the door without also forgetting the key in the lock.

In Bruno Latour’s essay “The Berlin key or how to do words with things,” the sociologist looks at how the design of this object models social behavior by implicitly conditioning users to always close and lock their doors.

While Untitled (Key) shares a somewhat similar appearance with the Berlin key, its design is fundamentally different. Both keys give the impression of being formed by the union of two separate pieces. However, the blades of Untitled (Key) turn inward, rendering the key non-functional. Its impracticality prompts questions that are less related to the concepts of manipulation and control and more to a condition of even greater powerlessness.

“Locks and Keys Throughout the Ages” by Vincent J.M. Eras, written in 1957 and read years prior, is likely another influential reference.