Saturday, September 1, 2007

Felix Gonzalez-Torres?

Many people are asking themselves how the marble reflecting pools in front of the US Pavilion in Venice can be attributed to Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Nancy Spector is extremely knowlegable on his work and worked with him on his retrospective. Surely she presents compelling arguments and documents in the catalogue. But on the visual evidence alone, I found the work antithetical to what I associate with his oeuvre. The marble reflecting pools: static, monumental, funereal, luxurious, precious, recalling old-fashioned mausoleums and evoking luxury, fly in the face of the mutability, ephemerality, and mechanically-reproduced aesthetics of many of his works. They clashed with the bulbs outside, and the stacks, licorice candies, and xeroxes inside. Much more moving and evocative are his doomed-to-run-outofsynch generic office clocks. I found "my" Felix Gonzalez-Torres perfect lovers on an anonymous clothesline, where someone had hung two pairs of underpants to dry in the sun and wind....

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