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Conclusion: Somewhere Better Than This Place/Nowhere Better Than This Place

  • Daniel T. Contreras

Abstract

In 1990, artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres exhibited two large white stacks of paper at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York City. These stacks consisted of sheets of paper measuring 29 inches by 23 inches, and the artist directed that the stacks be endlessly replenished, as viewers were encouraged to take sheets of the paper home with them. On the center of the sheets in one pile was printed: “Somewhere Better Than This Place.” The twin stack read: “Nowhere Better Than This Place.” The stacks looked like large white cubes, referencing the monumental and spare sculpture of Minimalism, while slyly parodying its permanence. The work also drew from Conceptual Art, in which the idea of the artwork, as opposed to its visual manifestation, is paramount. Gonzalez-Torres actively required the viewer to respond to this “idea” and to shatter the sacrosanct space between the object and the spectator. The gallery visitor was invited to take something—not just a souvenir, but the artwork itself. Here, Gonzalez-Torres remakes the relationship between buyer and seller, between artist and viewer, and interrupts, however briefly, the steady exchange of consumer goods.

Keywords

Psychic Distance Visual Manifestation Hollywood Movie Latin American Culture Utopian Ideal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Daniel T. Contreras 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel T. Contreras

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