"Our role as artist is more controversial now because there are those, claiming the absolute authority of religion, who detest much of our work as much as they detest most of our politics. Instead of rationally debating subjects like abortion or gay rights, they condemn as immoral those who favor choices and tolerance. They disown their own dark side and magnify everyone else's until, at the extreme, doctors are murdered in the name of protecting life. I wonder, who is this God they invoke, who is so petty and mean? Is God really against gun control and food stamps for poor children?"
excerpt from "The Artist as Citizen" by Barbra Streisand
delivered February 3, 1995 at John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
"Behold the son of God! Coward! And if the cold
Heels of the divine feet trampled on my shoulders,
I'd call you coward still! That fly-specked forehead!
Socrates, Jesus: righteous both! Stupid Saviors!
Respect me, Accursed forever in nights of blood!
"Oh make him go away, with his tonsils tied
Tightly in a scarf of shame, sweet as sugar
On a rotten tooth, sucking my boredom, satisfied-
Like a bitch who's just been jumped by horny doggies
Licks a piece of entrail dangling from her side.
"Forget your filthy charities, you hypocrite;
I hate the look in your runny rag-doll eyes!
Whining for papa like a snot-nosed kid,
An idiot waiting for music from on high!
Savior, your statuary gut is full of shit!"..
"The Savior Bumped Upon His Heavy Butt"
from his book A Season in Hell
I work all day like a monk
and at night wander about like an alleycat
looking for love...I'll propose
to the Church that I be made a saint.
In fact I respond to mystification
with mildness. I watch the lynch-mob
as through a camera-eye.
With the calm courage of a scientist,
I watch myself being massacred.
I seem to feel hate and yet I write
verses full of painstaking love.
I study treachery as a fatal phenomenon,
almost as if I were not its object.
I pity the young fascists,
and the old ones, whom I consider forms
of the most horrible evil, I oppose
only with the violence of reason.
Passive as a bird that sees all, in flight,
and carries in its heart,
rising in the sky,
an unforgiving conscience.
"I Work All Day"
Pier Paolo Pasolini
Published on the occasion of the first museum presentation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres's work in Asia at PLATEAU, and Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea, June 21 - 28 Sept. 28, 2012
Felix Gonzalez-Torres lived and worked resolutely according to his own idealistic principles, combining elements of Conceptual art, Minimalism, political activism, and poetic beauty in an ever-expanding arsenal of media, including public billboards, give-away piles of candy and posters, and ordinary objects--clocks, mirrors, light fixtures--used to startling effect. His work challenged the notions of public and private space, originality, authorship and--most significantly--the authoritative structures in which he and his viewers functioned. Editor Julie Ault has amassed the first comprehensive monograph to span Gonzalez-Torres's career. In the spirit of his method, she rethinks the very idea of what a monograph should be. The book, which places strong emphasis on the written word, contains newly commissioned texts by Robert Storr and Miwon Kwon, an introduction by Susan Cahill and an extended conversation with fellow artist Tim Rollins, as well as significant critical essays, exhibition statements, transcripts from lectures, personal correspondence, and writings that influenced Gonzalez-Torres and his work. Ample visual documentation adds another important layer of content. We see works not just in their completed state, but often in process, which for Gonzalez-Torres could mean the process of disappearing as viewers interacted with them.
Published on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London, June 1 – July 16 2000.
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Serpentine Gallery (June 2000)
Catalogue Raisonné in two volumes, published in conjunction with the posthumous 1997 traveling retrospective at Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Austria.
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Hatje Cantz Publishers (July 2, 1997)
Originally published to accompany the artist's solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 1995, and reissued on the occasion of the 2007 Venice Biennale (June 1-November 21), where Felix Gonzalez-Torres would represent the United States.
Written by Nancy Spector in close consultation with the artist and reflecting and expanding upon his ideas at the time, Felix Gonzalez-Torres presents a thematic overview of the artist's rich, many-layered practice, including the signature paper stacks, candy spills, light strings and billboards--and demonstrates his continued resonance today.
Nancy Spector is Chief Curator at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, and U.S. Commissioner to the 2007 Venice Biennale.
Hardcover: 228 pages
Publisher: Guggenheim Museum (May 1, 2007)
Published on the occasion of the traveling exhibition, Felix Gonzalez-Torres at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. April 24 – June 19, 1994. Co-organized by Amanda Cruz, Ann Goldstein and Suzanne Ghez; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. June 16 – Sept. 11, 1994.; The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, IL., Oct. 2 – 6 Nov. 6, 1994
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Distributed Art Pub Inc (Dap) (June 2, 1994)