A Place of Memory: Taking Art

The part of this reading that really jumped out to me was the women artist and violence and melancholia shown in their respective works.  What fascinated me most was that two of the exhibits, the ones by Neda Razavipour and Parastou Forouhar, was that both have an ephemeral quality and can be taken as a souvenir of sorts.

Image result for Félix González-Torres “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.)The art that I immediately thought of was the installation at the Art Institute of Chicago by Félix González-Torres.  “Untitled” (Portrait of Ross in L.A.) is a pile of brightly wrapped candies that visitors are invited to take.  In this case it serves as a memorial of sorts for González-Torres partner who died of AIDS.  When the pile is at it’s height it weighs 175 pounds, which was González-Torres’ partners weight when he was healthy.  The visitors slowly take carry away the weight just as AIDS slowly withered his partners body.

In the article it directly says how difficult cutting through Neda Razavipour’s carpet is, the almost violent act in fact, where as taking one of the candies from González-Torres’ is simple.  However with both there is a loss and I wonder about that.  I know during the AIDS crisis there was a lot of ambivalence from those on in the LGBTQ community, so I wonder if taking of a candy doesn’t mimic that silence and ‘ease’ in which so many died.  Whereas the Iranian Revolution was a violent overthrow that many people protested.  The article talks about ‘ripping apart the fabric of Iranian culture’, so the violence and difficulty of cutting through the rugs mimics the violence the Revolution saw as it tore through Iranian society.

Katelyn Kiner Hope 2017




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