Friday, 8 April 2011

Gabriel Orozco Exhibition at Tate Modern Part 1

On Wednesday I went to the Mexican Artist, Gabriel Orozco  exhibition at Tate Modern.  This as a thoroughly enjoyable experience; I felt it was a very well curated exhibition and a great opportunity to see his most famous and memorable works. 

The first piece was My Hands are my Heart (1991),  The double photograph of the man compressing the clay between his hands and then showing the resulting piece, this then exhibited alongside the fired clay "heart". This is apparently brick clay an everyday material rather than a specialist clay.  This is supposed to represent a "moment of creation".  This is a work on a small and personal scale, I found it rather moving; I had not realized that the clay piece was included in this as I had only been aware of the photographic piece before going to the exhibition.  In the same room were a series of folded paper and oil paint "Rorschach" type images I think they were called Paris.  The folds had been executed in different ways and the resulting images were dependent on the folds and the colours of paint used,  I went with three friends to see this show and we compared notes on each of the images to see how our interpretations differed.  This was a very interesting exercise; we all saw different things in the resulting images but agreed that we mainly found them quite phallic or sexual.

Black Kites (1997) was a human skull which was a found object; it had apparently taken him several months to complete the very painstakingly accurate chequer-board pattern inscribed on it with graphite pencil. This occupied the central space in this small room and the surrounding walls were covered with banners "Obit" with the first lines of obituaries from the New York Times written on them in scripts and fonts reflecting the originals.  These were often amusing but my favourite quote was "He was eccentric even for an Englishman".   The juxtaposition of the skull and the obituary quotations and the association with mortality is obvious.

Lintels (2001) is an installation of dryer lint from laundromat dryers hung on wires rather like washing.  these delicate pieces seem to represent the detritus of life or represent a sort of death.  They are grey felted and almost amorphous sheets of varying sizes; hung in pairs or alone and quite far apart.  One could walk under them but not touch them so it was interactive yet not tactile.  This was originally hung in New York just after the destruction of the Twin Towers and one can sense the poignancy of this instalation in this context. "For me what is important is not so much what people see in the show, it's what you see your perception of reality is changed… " GABRIEL OROZCO

To be continued......

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