HERE / THERE
Leaving the security of one’s own home has always been a challenge. Human existence is in constant correlation with living space, the intimate / private as well as the public / external. Such imaginary frameworks help us become aware of these boundaries, to overcome them more easily, to know our role and position more clearly, and to ultimately overcome our fear of the unknown: dark mountains, deep and restless seas, wild rivers and abysses, unknown people. Overcoming these boundaries – going into the unknown – enriches a person´s life, opens new horizons, contributes to new experiences and discoveries, and materializes our need to master spatial and temporal boundaries.
The first and last boundary
The frames of the cradle are the first “boundaries” in a person’s life. The cradle simultaneously restricts and protects. With many boundaries that a person encounters in life – those that he imposes on himself or that are imposed on him, necessary and unnecessary, good and bad – the final boundary of existence that they cross is death, and the final “home” of their body is the grave. It is impossible to know death as the final boundary, so belief that human existence still continues is woven into human nature. Over the centuries, in various belief systems and religions, people were subjected to numerous rites to cross into the afterlife with the firm conviction that their story shall continue.
Crib, first half of the 20th century
Photograph from archaeological research site, Tribalj – Saint Mary (Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Archives, Rijeka)
Pair of earrings, Tribalj – Saint Mary, 12th – 13th century
Silver Drachma of the Roman Republic depicting the god Janus, Campania, (Italy), between 216 – 211 B.C.
The boundary of the home, of our “four walls”, should constitute our safe zone. Open doors invite, closed doors protect our privacy. The key to control is in our hands. By crossing the doorstep, we either enter someone’s intimate sphere or leave it. We cross the boundary between the private and the public.
It is a fact that has accompanied human development from prehistory to the present day – from the simplest, natural shelters such as caves, where man took refuge to protect himself from weather conditions and possible dangers, all the way to today’s architecture which, often enriched with modern surveillance measures, emphasizes this basic human drive for protection and security. It is a constant that does not depend on the typology of architecture, its design and dating. Instead, it is a reflection of man’s need to provide for himself and members of his community.
First floor ground plans of two municipal houses in Kastav, Volosko, 3 May 1851
House threshold, stone, a block with Glagolitic letters ČHŽ Kastav, 1607
Keys, 19th – 20th century
Padlock from the Rijeka citygates 17th century
Boundaries in space
A person, following the natural shape of the terrain, builds boundaries and dams to mark their territory, protect fertile soil, or restrict the movement of their animals. Hills, ditches, high cliffs, rivers, and seashores are natural spatial boundaries that man can master. These are also natural boundaries in space that are, where necessary, interconnected by boundaries built by human hands – walls and fences.
The Castle of Rijeka, (copy) Pieroni, Ljubljana, 1639
Rijeka – Sušak, Carta postale “Paget”, around 1925
Photograph of the remains of the Kastav walls – Žudika, Edmund Jelussich, Kastav, end of the 19th century
Mali Lošinj, G. P. Budua, Mali Lošinj, around 1910
Bakar, M. Burian, Bakar, around 1930
Baška on the island of Krk, S. Riemer, Sušak, 1925
Mali Lošinj, O. Achtschin, Split, around 1910
Fallen soldiers' cemetery surrounded by barbed wire, World War I, Vojvodina
From the known into the unknown
Fear of the unknown can be overcome by a desire to learn and control new spaces, which brings us out of our comfort zone. An example of this would be various expeditions – journeys on which new spaces and new people are explored.
After thousands of years of focusing on the Mediterranean, starting from the 15th century onwards, sailing routes of Europeans became oceans. Intensive research expeditions to the New World began: America, the Far East and Australia. In addition to the primary purpose – spread of political power and culture – many scientific expeditions were undertaken as well.