"Untitled" (Fortune Cookie Corner)
May 25-July 5, 2020
May 25-July 5, 2020
An installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 1990. Curated by Andrea Rosen | organized in Detroit by Joan Kee and Trinosophes.
Andrea Rosen Gallery and David Zwirner are pleased to present a live exhibition of Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) in various places throughout the world. This exhibition invites an international group of 1,000 people to each manifest the work as a “place” as part of one total “site” of this expansive exhibition. Invitees who choose to participate are given a set of parameters specifically for this exhibition, thus establishing a fresh set of artistic interventions.
Participants initiated the installation in their “place” with between 240 to 1,000 fortune cookies. In addition to this decision, each “place” decided the location and configuration of the pile, beginning on May 25, 2020. Visitors are permitted to take pieces from the work, and the participants regenerate their piles (back to the amount with which they started) halfway through the presentation, on June 14. The exhibition will end on July 5.
At Trinosophes, fortune cookies contain wise, prophetic verse by Detroit writers and poets Faruq Z. Bey, Melba Boyd, Lynn Crawford, Dream Hampton, Kim Hunter, Aneb Kositsile, Yusef Lateef, Naomi Long Madgett, Dudley Randall, Dennis Teichman, Chris Tysh and George Tysh. This project is dedicated to those artists who utilize their unique voices to lift our spirits and raise our consciousness..
The exhibition recognizes this unique moment in history and reflects the ever-relevant and flexible nature of the work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Like many of Gonzalez-Torres’s works, including his candy works and paper stacks, “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) addresses the capacity for immortality through regeneration, heightened by the experience of loss within these works.
Much of Gonzalez-Torres’s work asks owners, curators, participants, and viewers alike to engage with his oeuvre beyond the confines of an institution or gallery space. This exhibition also addresses notions of audience and accessibility, and our understanding of public and private space.
Documentation of this physical exhibition, “Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner), will be viewable on both Andrea Rosen Gallery’s website, under Live Projects, and David Zwirner’s website .
Felix Gonzalez-Torres was born in Guáimaro, Cuba on November 26, 1957. He referred to himself as American. He lived and worked in New York City between 1979 and 1995. Gonzalez-Torres died in Miami on January 6, 1996 from AIDS-related causes. He began his art studies at the University of Puerto Rico before moving to New York City, where he attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, first in 1981 and again in 1983. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute, New York, in 1983 and his MFA from the International Center of Photography and New York University in 1987.
From 1987 to 1991, Gonzalez-Torres was a part of the artist collective Group Material, whose collaborative, politically-informed practice focused on community engagement and activist interventions. In 1988, he had his first one-man exhibitions, at the Rastovski Gallery, New York, INTAR Gallery, New York, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. His earliest billboard work, "Untitled" (1989), was installed at New York's Sheridan Square on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion. In 1990, a solo presentation of Gonzalez-Torres's work served as the inaugural exhibition of the Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Traveling, a survey of the artist's work, was presented at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago in 1994. In 1995, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, organized an international traveling retrospective of his work. The artist participated in numerous group shows during his lifetime, including early presentations at Artists Space and White Columns in New York (1987 and 1988, respectively), the Whitney Biennial (1991), the Venice Biennale (1993), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1995) and the Art Institute of Chicago (1995).
In 1997, the Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany, organized a traveling posthumous solo exhibition and published a catalogue raisonné of the artist's work. Further solo exhibitions of his work were held at such institutions as The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (1998); The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1999-2000); El Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo, Uruguay (2000-2001); Serpentine Gallery, London (2000); Le Consortium, Dijon (2002); and Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2006). In 2007, Gonzalez-Torres was selected to represent the United States at the 52nd Venice Biennale.
More recently, in 2010-2011, WIELS Contemporary Art Center, Brussels, organized a six-part traveling retrospective, Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form, which was also presented at the Fondation Beyeler, Basel, and Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. At each institution, Elena Filipovic curated a retrospective version of the exhibition which was reconsidered midway through its run by a collaborating artist-curator: Danh Vo, Carol Bove, and Tino Sehgal, respectively. Further exhibitions devoted to the artist's work have been held at PLATEAU and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea (2012); Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, Northern Ireland (2015); and Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2016).
In June 2019, the Public Art Fund presented the artist’s first billboard, which was unveiled in the West Village in New York in 1989.
AS GONZALEZ-TORRES WAS INTERESTED IN HIS WORK PROVIDING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR QUESTIONING, SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
As this exhibition makes us think about how we almost exclusively conceive of exhibitions as happening in what we refer to as public spaces, it also invokes questioning of the arbitrary separations we create between the broader notions of public and private (a central topic in Gonzalez-Torres’s work). In what ways do we use these conceptual separations to limit our individual senses of responsibility? How has this historic moment shifted our perceptions of public and private space? How does this lead us to think about ideas of accessibility?
Anyone could source and place a quantity of fortune cookies in a pile, but when does such an installation become a work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres? How does Gonzalez-Torres's work help us think about value systems? How does this work engage, expand, or subvert distinctions between owner, audience, exhibitor, and participant?
One of the core tenets of this work is that it exists even when it is not manifest. What does this mean to us as humans? As most of us are currently isolated, how does this aspect of the work – that it can exist without being physically present – make us think about how even though we may be out of sight, our actions and intentions still have effect?
In light of conversations around the environment and sustainability, how does Gonzalez-Torres’s work help us consider how art may evolve to be in line with our future?
Many of Gonzalez-Torres’s works, including candy works and paper stacks, address the capacity for immortality through regeneration, heightened by the experience of loss and depletion within the works. As you experience the work in your “place” and have the opportunity to regenerate the work halfway through the exhibition (especially in this historic moment in time), how might the work help you reflect on the relationship we have to out and out loss, and the intertwined relationship between loss and regeneration and/or renewal?
Because this current pandemic is affecting nearly everyone globally, how does this exhibition, which is purposefully situated in this time, address the fact that feelings of compassion and empathy are often linked to personal impact and experience? And how does this exhibition, that hopefully addresses the unseen relationships among all the “places” in the total “site,” potentially change our relationship to empathy and connection? And how does it make us think about our reactions to other crises, both current and past?
Gonzalez-Torres was very specific about what was included in a work’s caption, yet he was also interested in the potential for overt inconsistencies between the purposeful static nature of a caption and the purposeful malleability within each manifestation of many of his works (such as: the shape, configuration, size, materials used...). How do we address our own attachments to ideas like “original” or “ideal?”
“Untitled” (Fortune Cookie Corner) will look and evolve differently within the individual “places” of the exhibition, while these “places” remain part of one total “site” of the exhibition. Did the experience provide a sense of continuity or connection with others? Did you feel like you were part of a whole? Or did it emphasize your sense of isolation?
There are many works by Gonzalez-Torres that could have been chosen for this exhibition, to similar effect. How does this work, and its implicit connections to chance, hope, the unknown, resonate in this moment?
Trinosophes gallery is open on Sayurdays in June, 12-5pm, and by appointment. Please call (313)778-9258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The café, performance venue, and public restrooms are closed to the public
All visitors must wear a mask
Parking available in the free Trinosophes parking lot at rear of the building or at metered parking on Gratiot Avenue
Gallery entrance on Gratiot Avenue only
Rebecca Mazzei (313)778-9258 email@example.com
Julia Lukacher (212)727-2070 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Goulet (303)918-0393 email@example.com