J a n e t M c E w a n
Take me. I'm yours.
June 2010. Images of an installation at ART75; a celebration to mark the 75th birthday of the open air swimming pool located on the waterfront of Penzance, Cornwall.
Artists were invited to use one or more of the 90 changing cubicles as around the pool as 'gallery spaces' for the day.
I placed an unlimited edition print by the late Felix Gonzalez Torres, which I brought home from a retrospective show of his work at the Venice Biennale in 2007. This trip was part funded by a Personel Development grant from Creative Skills, a Cornwall arts development agency. Alongside the print were four photographs taken in Venice, selected from a series documenting parts of the journeys and fate of the some of the prints picked up by audience members. This print - one of two picked up at the biennale- of an expanse of water, seemed appropriate for the ART75 event - a salt water swimming pool next to the ocean.
The print was fixed to the cubicle wall intact, with a note inviting visitors to tear a piece off and do with it as they wished; multiplying the multiple .....
At the end of the day the print had been reworked. I folded it up, took it home and placed it back on my studio wall.
A note on Felix Gonzalez-Torres
Born in Guáimaro, Cuba, in 1957, Felix Gonzales-Torres also spent time growing up in Puerto Rico, where he attended the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan. He became an American citizen in 1976 and moved to New York City in 1979, graduating from the Pratt Institute with a photography degree in 1983. He received a master’s degree from the International Center of Photography in 1987.
The art of the late Felix Gonzalez- Torres took many different forms during his relatively brief career but it was always motivated by his fervent desire for dialogue and community.
His best-known works are the “stack” pieces—neat piles of unlimited-edition prints that viewers are encouraged to take but are then intermittently replaced,
resulting in a constantly changing height of the sculpture. His stacks acquired special poignancy when the artist began to link them with the AIDS epidemic: the slowly dwindling piles became a metaphor for the atrophy of AIDS victims’ bodies. The artist himself died of AIDS in 1996 at the age of 38.