Saturday, June 10, 2023

Felix Gonzalez-Torres on being a spy, an infiltrator

Felix Gonzalez-Torres interviewed by Hans-Ulrich Obrist for the Museum in Progress’s, “Portraits of Artists”. Follow The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Family Archive via Instagram, and via their website. This is very, very rare footage which, as you can see from the comments, allows the viewer to hear Gonzalez-Torres’s voice for the first time.

museum in progress organised the series “Portraits of Artists” (19922001) conversations with international artists who were exhibiting and/or taking part in a symposium in Vienna. The interviews of different lengths were recorded in the blue box with the artists as talking heads face on to the camera and the interviewer’s voice off-screen. The artists usually chose their interview partners themselves, creating a basis of trust between the interlocutors. The artists were also able to choose the background colour, which was added afterwards, and decide which parts of the interview should remain in the final version and which should be edited out. Thanks to this artistic concept, which was conceived by Peter Kogler and museum in progress, the interviews offer authentic portraits of the artists.

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Felix Gonzalez-Torres interviewed by Hans Ulrich Obrist for @museuminprogress – "Portraits of Artists"? ? (…)And there is also the context of that work, I mean, it's not just about two empty beds (Billboards). It could be about the way some people read it in the streets. It was about emptiness, it was about homelessness, it was about, you know, love, man – woman, man – man, woman – woman, whatever; it was about an announcement for a movie that was about to come; it was about advertisement for a White Sale at Bloomingdale's. It could be about anything. And that is exactly the way I want it to function, because some other readings would be right. But the reading that I wanted to give into the work is very subtle, it is not about confrontation, it is about being accepted, and then, once you accept these things to your life then I say to you: "But I just want you to know that this is about this" and then it is already too late, it is already inside the room.? ? The work is extremely unstable. But that is one thing that I enjoy very much. I enjoy that danger, that instability, that in-between-ness. If you want to relate it to a personal level, I think in that case that the work is pretty close to that real life situation that I am confronted with daily as a gay man: a way of being in which I am forced by culture and by language to always live a life of "in-between."? ? …And at the same time, the work is almost like a metaphor because you cannot destroy something that does not exist. The same applies to the billboard; it just disappeared but will come out again in a different cover, in a different cultural, historical context.? ? #felixgonzaleztorres #museuminprogress #portraitsofartists

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