| || |
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats
Edited by Lisa Pearson, Richard Kraft. Text by Mónica de la Torre, Ann Lauterbach.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ text reveries on the intersections of the historical and the personal, gathered for the first time in this elegant clothbound volume
Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-96) is one of the most significant artists to have emerged in the 1980s. An artist whose beautiful, restrained and often mutable works are abundant in compelling contradictions, Gonzalez-Torres was committed to a democratic form of art informed as much by the aesthetic and conceptual as by politics. His work challenges authority and our obeisance to it, dissolves the delineations between public and private, and creates a rich, open field into which the viewer is invited to complete works with her own inferences, imagination, and actions.
The photostats are a series of fixed works with white text on black fields framed behind glass to create a reflective surface bringing the viewers' reflection into the work. Made at the height of the AIDS crisis, these profoundly suggestive lists of political, cultural, and historical references disrupt hierarchies of information and linear chronology, asking how we receive and prioritize information, how we remember and forget, and how we continuously create new meaning. The photostats also recall the screens (the television, and now the computer) which furiously deliver information from which we must parse substance from surface and choose what to assimilate and what to reject.
This elegant volume is a discrete space in which to closely read the photostats with sustained attention: it opens from both sides, reproducing the framed photostats as objects on one, and from the other, details of the texts can be read as writing. In between the two, original writings by Mónica de la Torre and Ann Lauterbach, explore adjacent territories, signaling the multiple entry points for understanding the works.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Lee Ann Norman
Photostats is a timeless social commentary on the difficult and ongoing work that lies ahead to create a more just world. This volume is gorgeous in its simplicity and profound in its form, invoking multiple reads and multiple meanings upon each view.
Made at the height of the AIDS crisis, in a pre-internet era, the photostats—a series of fixed works with white serif text on black fields framed behind glass to create a reflective surface—are profoundly suggestive lists of political, cultural, and historical references. These works disrupt linear time, the seemingly causal relationships of chronology, and hierarchies of information as they ask how we receive and prioritize information, how we remember and forget, and how we continuously create new meaning. The photostats have a deep kinship with poetry in their use of specificity and ambiguity, operating as open fields: each juxtaposition and its oblique friction illuminates connections and disconnections.
Mónica de la Torre
Unlike the stars, we do not write, luminously, on a dark field (Mallarmé). Yet Gonzalez-Torres’s inscriptions do act as constellations, as celestial alphabet. Events worth remembering, the count of years—they are light beams orienting us as we go on forgetting.
Photostats honors Gonzalez-Torres in all the right ways ... To my mind, [the Photostats] are best described as concrete poems that speak to the ethics of memory in a culture of coerced and embodied forgetting; collages of remembering, naming, and the contention of individual existence, particularly that of the marginalized and dispossessed ... They will take your breath away.
In the middle of another pandemic fueled by government neglect, Gonzalez-Torres’s investigations into the contingencies and coincidences of history resound with urgency.
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 12/8/2020
"Untitled" (1988) is reproduced from Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Photostats, a new release from Siglio Press and one of our Staff Pick Holiday Gift Books, 2020. A small, clothbound book that is meant to be read front-to-back and flipped upside-down, back-to-front—so that one can either see the artworks on reflective paper, as if framed on the wall behind glass, or read the artist's words as short collaged texts, printed white on black matte paper—this volume carries a heavy, prescient weight, calling out events, entities, epidemics and entertainments that "appear as coded messages awaiting decipherment," in the words of Mónica de la Torre. "Unlike the stars, we do not write, luminously, on a dark field (Mallarmé)," she writes. "Yet Gonzalez-Torres’s inscriptions do act as constellations, as celestial alphabet. Events worth remembering, the count of years—they are light beams orienting us as we go on forgetting. Each cluster of dates and references displays its own oblique associative logic. The larger narrative it may or may not point to can be searingly legible or obscure to varying degrees. Regardless, those gaps between elements in each of the clusters are openings inviting us to fill in the blanks by bringing in our own associations, personal histories, and biases…"
Image above: “Untitled”, 1988, by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, copyright Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Courtesy Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation. continue to blog
USD $50.00 | CAN $69
Pub Date: 8/30/2022
Active | In stock
USD $36.00 | CAN $50.4 UK £ 32
Pub Date: 11/20/2020
Active | In stock
USD $70.00 | CAN $92.5
Pub Date: 2/28/2017
Active | In stock
USD $65.00 | CAN $87
Pub Date: 11/22/2016
Active | In stock