Locks, like borders, are manmade inventions that define ownership, not just of property but of people (think of chain gangs or suspects in a jail cell). The lock has also become a potent metaphor for control and safekeeping, finding its way into slang. We have Al Gores lockbox, lockdown, lock and load, and perhaps most revealingly wedlock. Artist Lucas Murgida takes delight in freeing the sneaky meanings of these phrases, and of our reliance on keys in general. He is a trained locksmith and founder of the Locksmithing Institute, a three-year traveling project that teaches young students how to pick locks; unshackle handcuffs; and find, make, and lose keys, of the material and metaphorical varieties. Tonight, the institute's eleventh and final lesson promises "a demonstration on opening doors without keys," thereby begging the question: If you free your mind will the rest follow?
Fri., Aug. 22, 6 p.m., 2008