PLATEAU: Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Double (revised)

14 Jul

Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in 1957 in Cuba and migrated to New York. He worked in art field and at the age of 38, he died because of AIDS. He denied fixed notion and monumental of art. Also, he argued that the art changed and made by audiences’ participation has a real eternity. His works such as light bulbs, texts, candies, clocks, mirrors, billboards, piles of paper are about ‘Love and Death. In 2012 now, SAMSUNG Art museum plateau is opened Felix Gonzalez- Torres’s exhibition, double as the First solo museum exhibition in Seoul and in Asia.

At the entrance of the museum, there is “untitled(North)”. It is composed of warm lights of bulbs which mean as ‘Free’. This artwork can be easily changed, because the bulbs are connected with wires. So, the shape of the piece is various according to the place. Between of the first space and the entrance door, there is another piece of which subtitle is ‘Beginning’. It looks like a curtain made of crystal beads. To go into the space and see the exhibition, audiences should touch the art work. It has a meaning related to the subtitle that as a ‘fear of contact with AIDS patient’. As Gonzalez-Torres made audience touch the piece, he emphasized the message with his background. Also, when I passed through the piece, I could feel his pain and find myself trying to put in his shoes. And then go into the space, the exhibition began in earnest. There are two ‘candy’ works which are the stack of green candies and silver candies. People can get the candies and when the candies are gone, then curator in the museum or gallery fills up the candies. In connection with it, I think about ‘where is art?’; art is at curators who can be involve in art project. In the next space, there are walls printed with flying the one bird and the sky monochrome images. In front of the walls, there are two piles of sheet; first one is printed with a flying bird and second is printed with one part of famous writer Oscar Wilde’s play. The titles of these two works are “untitled(Aparición)” and “untitled”. I think freely flying bird means Gonzalez-Torres himself, because he sought relief from suffering aids and desired for living together with his lover, Ross Laycock. He asserted,”It has this glow. The beautiful blue creates a glow on the wall when it rests on the floor. And when you look at it, you can think about so many things. You can think of the sky. You can think about water. You can think about pleasant things that are related to that kind of light blue. I know it has a gender connotation; you can’t get away from that. But I also meant it as this beautiful blank page onto which you can project anything you want, any image, whatever.” Besides, audience can have some papers of piles like souvenir. Susan Stewart who is the author of <on longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection,Durham,N.C.:Duke university Press,1993>has written about souvenirs as ” objects of desire”: The souvenir reduces the public, the monumental, and the three-dimensional into the miniature, that which can be enveloped by the body or into the two-dimensional representation the postcard or photograph, that which can be. There are also work,“untitled(Go-Go Dancing Platform)” with many pictures,”untitled(Natural History)”hung on the around the walls. While the platform looks like bright, brilliant and light, the pictures are dark, still and sole. Also in the pictures, there are images of some words that are politician, scholar, scientist and so on. These words are opposite things to Gonzalez-Torres, because he was not white but Cuban and homosexual. But as he made a dancer dancing on the top of the platform, he could be rid of his complex and even could upgrade his existence and identity. There is “          ”. On the walls, many words seemed to important historical events and dates are written. But in fact, the vocabs are not related with them. In contrast, the words are such private things. Recently, date and name of this place, PLATEAU, are written. The reason why it could be possible is a list of portfolio he made about how his art works have to be displayed in many galleries and museum. So, his arts are not still but can be changed and broadened by curators and audiences. In this regard, I would want to go to his exhibition again, because I feel curious about ‘how his works are changed at next exhibition?’ At last, my favorite work of him is ‘Perfect Lovers’. It was impressive for me. The work is two same round clocks. I heard that ‘two circles’ symbolize homosexual and ‘8’ means eternity. I think that two clocks mean his lover, Laycock and himself. Like the word ’perfect’, the clocks seem to be totally same: same time, same color, material and style of number texts. In fact, however, they are not perfectly same. Time of the left clock is little faster than right one. I think it means the fact that Laycock died earlier than Gonzalez-Torres. It looks like Gonzalez-Torres is following to his lover. But, sadly they cannot meet together. So the clocks can not only be perfect like the subtitle but also imperfect. So, I think that this piece is the most beautiful and at the same time sad.

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One Response to “PLATEAU: Felix Gonzalez- Torres, Double (revised)”

  1. joowonjeon July 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    I refer to ‘Felix Gonzalez-Torres , Nancy Spector ,New York, N.Y. : Guggenheim Museum, 2007

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