Trap Door extends Brüggemann’s preoccupation with standard industrial assemblage. Though its appearance may resemble a readymade – an existing product - the work’s minimal look echoes a similar industrial unit but is actually a bespoke object made from non-slip stainless steel and inserted flush into the ground. It plays with the idea of the unconscious as it purports to offer access to what ‘lies beneath’. Though the object may suggest the existence of an underground chamber it does so purely by association, since the viewer’s recognition of an artifact or architectural detail is bound up with the pictorial recollection of a similar, prior experience.
It is arguable that the lack of pathos or emotional persuasion in much post-Conceptual work might be related to the understanding that images simply fulfill the role of the placeholder, a stand-in for the unpresentable. And, according to the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard, the task of postmodern art is encapsulated in the attempts to present the unpresentable. But since it cannot be represented as itself, something else is brought in as a substitution. Therefore what is presented may differ substantially in appearance or in meaning from what cannot be shown.