A Tale of Two Rosses: Two Installations of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled" (Ross in L.A.)

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Hagan Street Installation of Untitled (Ross in L.A.), by Felix Gonzalez-Torres
  • Hagan Street Installation of "Untitled" (Ross in L.A.), by Felix Gonzalez-Torres

One of the greatest parts about Cheekwood's More Love pop-up stationed next to Zeitgeist on Saturday was the inclusion of a second installation of Felix Gonzalez-Torres' "Untitled," Ross in L.A., a ready-made piece that's just waiting to be assembled. Here's what I wrote about the it in the Scene's Fall Guide:

In it, 175 pounds of colorful wrapped candies are piled into a corner, waiting for audience members to pick up a piece and take it with them. The candy signifies González-Torres' lover Ross at his healthiest weight before he succumbed to AIDS — the disease that eventually killed him — so taking a piece of the candy, unwrapping it and holding its taste in your mouth becomes a kind of communion that allows you to participate in the work's symbolic destruction of the man at the same time you revel in his sweetness.

Of the two installations (see a photo of the piece at Cheekwood's Museum of Art after the jump), I think I preferred seeing it in the More Love pop-up exhibit. It was hot and I had on the thick flannel shirt I'd been wearing around the house all day, somehow completely unaware of the 85-degree weather. So I was sweaty, the candy was sticky, and there was a buzz of people at the bar set up across the room. "Ross" was positioned perfectly in the corner, spotlit against the cinderblock wall, and that seemed much more like a portrait of someone who was continuing to participate in life, even after death. I stuck my hand in the candy pile as far as it would go, grabbed a piece, crunched the candy between my teeth, and kept the wrapper in my back pocket all night.

See "Ross" at Cheekwood through Jan. 5.

Cheekwood Installation of Untitled (Ross in L.A.), by Felix Gonzalez-Torres
  • Cheekwood Installation of "Untitled" (Ross in L.A.), by Felix Gonzalez-Torres

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