Who am we?

I’ll just add a few things more about Gabe Martinez’s “Confidence and Faith,” a piece I found confusing and altogether wonderful. (for more, see Libby’s post of Dec. 17).

Martinez’s work is about identity and it’s not always about his identity. The artist likes to place the viewer in front of excessively orchestrated bunches of stuff and ask for a psychic reading. Is what’s presented you? Is it him? Who is represented here and why?

In his one-night-stand at the Art Alliance, Martinez presents Michelle Kwan as the object of adoration. He loves her. He lights candles for her, throws teddy bears and stays with her when she falls.

But maybe Kwan is a stand-in for the artist, someone who performs without a safety net and sometimes fails.

(Photographs by J.J. Tiziou. Image at the bottom is a close-up of that concretized teddy bear mountain.)


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