Parking Lot (1995) + Lintels (2001)
Gabriel Orozco experiments with the objects which surround us, taking those everyday things we seem to forget and re-inventing them. The artist isn’t shocking or entertaining anyone, the subtle tweaks to the the environment around us makes us have to concentrate and question the object which many would say have gone through a process that many could do. I think that is what is so special, the way he reacts to an environment and the objects. The ideas begin with this playful process of looking at reality, the objects and environment which surrounds him, and that process when recycled and shown to us the viewer can create such an intensity which can bring up so much conflict and debate.
For example his piece Parking Lot (1995) where Gabriel Orozco opened the top part of the gallery (Galerie Micheline Szwajcer in Antwerp) for the duration of the show to be used by motorised to park there cars. The artist talks about how the work “came about because of the gallerist, Micheline Szwajcer, was always parking on double lines in front of the gallery… and I was embarrassed. I guessed the gallery used to be a garage and with the two big doors opened you could drive in a car from the street”. This work could be seen as a gesture to the people of the city and he went on to mention how he wanted it to “suggest that for a month she became a good neighbour, giving a service to the people and no longer parking on double lines.” This gesture pushes the viewer to reflect on what the gallery is, stripping away any aesthetics that gallery would have and showing it as the commercial space like every other, existing to make money.
Gabriel Orozco manipulates his environments and is able to see how something very simple can create a lot of discussion and emotion. With Parking Lot he exposed the gallery, grinding down to show just the skeleton of what it is, provoking the viewer to question an event. Another piece which shows this amazing understanding is Lintels (2001), which consisted of dryer lint (washing machine fluff) and then merged together like you would with felt to create these sheets which hung over a washing line. The lint would have collected the DNA of people and I believe had a strong relation with the remnants of life. This piece was shown in New York just after 9/11, and it showed the strong emotions that people were feeling the particles of the body, that small trace, fragility, death and also movement.
I am fascinated by Gabriel Orozco work, this everyday understanding of the reality which surrounds us, taking something and playing with it to create an object which has an impact on how we see and communicate with are surroundings. There is no looking for an aesthetic, its honest and makes us have to concentrate but by doing so we find an intensity of the object, and reality of are life’s.