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Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Regret

posted by on December 28 at 9:30 AM

This one got cut from the print edition:

Jen Graves does not regret her June 13 story exposing the strange process behind the rejection of a proposed sculpture by Felix Gonzalez-Torres proposal for Western Washington University in 1992. But she does regret describing the sculpture, which was finally built for this year’s Venice Biennale, as “The One That Got Away,” because that implies that the sculpture is good, and when she arrived at the Venice Biennale, she discovered that—at least in this posthumous version—it is not.


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Upon my word, this ranks adjacent to, if not against, public art in Seattle.

Posted by unPC | December 28, 2007 9:56 AM

It's boobs!

Posted by sniggles | December 28, 2007 10:06 AM

Very artistic, actually. Jen needs to start jaywalking again, so the cops can ticket her and she has something interesting to write about.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 28, 2007 10:38 AM

That sculpture is profoundly provocative and will speak to me -- indeed, to all mankind -- for millenia. David might as well stand down off his pedestal and Serra's stuff should just rust into is ART that will last to the end of earth.

Please pass the bong...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | December 28, 2007 10:41 AM

Will, I would expect you to comment lovingly about the naked bike parade or veganism or whatever, but your comments regarding art are not necessary. Thanking you!

But I think it looks pretty here, and it's even more interesting now that I know it's a fountain. It doesn't look right in this setting though. What was wrong with it?

Posted by sniggles | December 28, 2007 10:54 AM

I also regret that I did not have a threeway with my girlfriend and her friend in 2007. I further regret that she dumped me for my frequent wistful sighing about the lack of said threeway.

Posted by My penis | December 28, 2007 11:06 AM

@5 - yeah, so Jen was saying it's not art, not worthy of the Venice Bienniale. I've been to Venice, done their film fest, seen the museums, and I think she's wrong.

It is worthy.

Half the stuff they have there "for" it is not even half as good as the piece she's jagging on.

Look, you want art, go to Firenze (that's Florence if you haven't been there).

Venice is - was - and will be - for tourists.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 28, 2007 11:55 AM

Sniggles: The biggest problem was that the circles (shallowly concave and holding water) were shoved together in order that a totally errant teensy little stream of water would flow between them. But they weren't close enough. No water went between them. In this way, you could say that the circles are identical separates (homo-separates, like some theorists like to point out), like Gonzalez-Torres's clocks. But they're not, really--instead of independent doubles that are linked, they seem to represent failed connection. Being so close together makes it worse that they don't actually come together, chillier. The fact that it's executed in heavy, permanent Michelangelesque Carrera marble exacerbates the coldness. It's sort of a painful failure, actually. And on top of all that--it's painful that it failed without the artist's consent, since it was realized after his death, and since he didn't choose the final materials.

Posted by Jen Graves | December 28, 2007 12:04 PM

Jen (or, if you prefer, Ms. Graves) --

Thanks for the additional context. What do make of this: the piece is actually stronger (and more universally resonant) by portraying "so close, but so far" -- what most of us experience -- versus that tenuous connection, hinting at a happy ending which may appeal to our base sentiments but not have as strong a rooting in reality?

I perceive the latter manifestation to be trite, or at least trite-adjacent, and the former to be much more evocative; the pain of almost making it reminds me of my own near misses and thus leaves a more lasting impression as a work of art.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | December 28, 2007 1:20 PM

but it does look like an erect penis and two big balls.

kudos to the artist for getting that far!

Posted by terry miller | December 28, 2007 3:03 PM

Okay, I can totally see what you mean, especially after reading your article about what it was intended to be. In fact, I was bothered that they didn't seem perfectly level in the photo but just attributed that to the picture.

But it does kind of look like dick and balls.

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