Artists Space

Film and Video Program
Macho Man, Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault
January 23

Screenings
January 23, 2014, 7:30pm

“Untitled” (A Portrait), 1991
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 5min

Memories of Underdevelopment, 1968
Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, 97min, 35mm

A grid of 15 black and white monitors, each displaying a unique text that names objects, phenomena, or other nouns characterizing an unidentified subject, such as "a silver sea," "civil disobedience," and "a new lesion."
Detail from “Untitled” (A Portrait), 1991. Felix Gonzalez-Torres, 5min [A grid of 15 black and white monitors, each displaying a unique text that names objects, phenomena, or other nouns characterizing an unidentified subject, such as "a silver sea," "civil disobedience," and "a new lesion."]

Memories of Underdevelopment was an important film to the artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres. In the context of the Cuban Revolution and the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, the film reveals the complexity of political engagement with a world-changing political situation. Gutiérrez Alea’s film asks questions about how one is to be revolutionary, and the complications of extricating such a practice from everyday life. The rarely-seen video “Untitled” (A Portrait) by Gonzalez-Torres presents the titular portrait without specifying the identity of its subject, confounding the notion of a personal episode and the boundaries of private and public. This convergence of disparate events also summons to mind the text portraits he began making in 1989, beginning with his own self-portrait, and thereafter composed collaboratively by the artist and the portrait’s “sitter,” conflating signs of personal and social histories. “Untitled” (A Portrait) can be viewed in two different forms. Most often it is screened in an installation for which the video is played continuously on a small monitor placed atop a pedestal. Located in front of the monitor are two Arne Jacobsen chairs, side-by side, suggesting the shared living experiences that typify romantic unions. With permission from the owner of the work, the video can also be screened as a one-time event, specified for “education purpose.”