Nadine Robinson. Like Three, 2012. Vintage speakers, vinyl lettering, sound recording, and acrylic on canvas. Music: The Persuaders, “Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” 1974. Courtesy of the artist.
The Menil Collection and The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts are asking six professionals three questions that correspond to the exhibition, The Progress of Love. Contributors are Ryan Dennis, Massa Lemu, Solkem N’Gangbet, Temitayo Ogunbiyi, Amy Powell, and Charlotte Walker-Said.
For the first installment of this dialogue, we want to know: How are romantic relationships being redefined and visualized in the 21st century?
Ryan Dennis, Public Art Director at Project Row Houses: In “Untitled (Perfect Lovers)” Felix Gonzalez-Torres visualizes time as a mechanical relationship, placing two clocks side by side, which can serve as a metaphor for the current state of romantic relationships. Time, it seems, is no longer consistent. Just as the days change, so does the nature of relationships. With a new awareness happening in addressing the way we can love, it seems like individuals have taken an open stance in creating a narrative that speaks specifically to their needs, wants, and desires. While we may have an understanding of the current language of romantic relationships, similar to Gonzalez-Torres’ clocks, where the two hands may start off at the same time, they inevitably and slowly slip away from each other, as does our ability to keep up with the current lingo. Maybe it is not for us to understand! Following developments in the practice and theory of technology, globalization, gender, history, art, anthropology, maybe we have reached a moment to acknowledge that each individual is shaped by their personal experiences that then define their relationship with another person. It seems as though we are no longer at a place in time where connecting with “traditional terms” speaks to a universal language. As such, relationships are being redefined and visualized according to a script of reciprocity and love.
Continue reading The Menil and the Pulitzer open up dialogue around The Progress of Love