Artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, famous for his interactive work Portrait of Ross (1991) where audience members take candy from a pile until it has been diminished, has returned with another piece in this exhibition. In line with his staple style of allowing the audience to take home a piece of the work ‘NRA (unlimited)’ allows audience members to take a large red poster with a dark border. Nothing is written on the poster but, the red symbolism along with the name NRA; synonymous with the National Rifle Association, points towards a certain narrative. Nowhere does it state what the posters truly mean, but a critique on the continuous and ongoing gun violence present in the USA is probably the motive. The fact the pile will always be replenished and never disappear is a sad truth of America and its relationship with firearms.
The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive Music video created by Interactive Artist Chris Milk for the song “We Use to Wait” by Arcade Fire for their album The Suburbs. The entire piece was created using HTML5 and employs the use of Google Maps through the Google Chrome Browser.
Wilderness Downtown attempts to evoke a feeling of nostalgia for the viewer as it tailors the music video to whoever inputs their address. The combined effect of the faceless runner (figuratively running home) and the ballad-like music with sad undertones tries to make the viewer miss or look back on the place they grew up in but may no longer live.
The Video displays the most current Google Maps and Google Street views of the address entered into the browser. This allows every single experience of the piece to be different and tailored to the viewer
The ending of the video allows viewers to directly speak to their past selves; sending a message to the child who lived in the home they are seeing pass by on the screen. This moment allows the viewers to directly interact with their nostalgia and also reflect on how far they have come in life
Is it effective?
Well, what does the creator say?
The emotional reaction of the piece could range from emotional to nostalgic to even traumatic. Whether your reaction is positive, negative or neutral, everyone can agree it is nice to have a piece of art so personally curated for us and it’s always nice to see home