Thatcher Gallery, University of San Francisco
Portale invites visitors to explore ideas of passage and transformation through a site-specific installation that creates a path through the stone portal in Kalmanovitz Hall’s Giraulo Atrium, at USF.
Dated 1175-1200, the Romanesque portal featuring Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge was originally from the Chapel of the Penitents in Northern Italy. Taken from its original sacred space and later donated by the de Young Museum to be placed in the heart of an academic building dedicated to the arts and humanities, it is now a reminder of many passages: from one place to another, from the past to the present, from the tangible world to the spiritual realm.
The installation features two different carpet tiles patterns. One from a Basilica in North of Italy, area of origin of the Stone Portal, and the other one from the ceiling of Mission Dolores Basilica, painted by the native Ohlone tribe.
In creating the carpet path, the artist evoked with irony the relationship between the sacred and the profane, inviting the public to think about the dynamics between culture and power.
Co-sponsored by Theology and Religious Studies, the Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought, and University Ministry.