Untitled (March 5th) #2Artist(s)Felix Gonzalez-TorresObject Creation Date1991Medium & Support40-watt light bulbs, extension cords, porcelain light socketsDimensions
234 in x 7 in x 2 in (594.36 cm x 17.78 cm x 5.08 cm);234 in x 7 in x 2 in (594.36 cm x 17.78 cm x 5.08 cm);10 1/4 in x 11 13/16 in x 11 in (26.04 cm x 30 cm x 27.94 cm)Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by the W. Hawkins Ferry FundLabel copy
March 28, 2009
When people ask me, “Who is your public?” I say honestly, without skipping a beat, “Ross.” The public was Ross.
—Felix Gonzalez-Torres, January 1995
Light bulbs, fixtures, and extension cords are humble, everyday things, but in the art of Felix Gonzalez-Torres, they are imbued with an unexpected emotional charge. The date March 5th, referenced in the title, was the birthday of the artist’s lover, Ross Laycock, who died of AIDS in 1994. Created shortly after Ross’s diagnosis, this is among the first in a series of pieces Gonzalez-Torres made during that period using strings of bare light bulbs. Characteristically for the artist, the work is open to a range of interpretations. Hanging against the wall, the installation might look naked and vulnerable, or poignant and warm. The implicit romanticism of the work’s metaphor of two luminous, connected bodies—evoking those of Gonzalez-Torres and Laycock—is tempered by the knowledge that at any second one of the bulbs could burn out, with the other left to shine on alone.Subject matter
A meditation on love, togetherness, the beauty of the everday, mortality, loss, and mourning in the aftermath of AIDS.Physical Description
Two forty-watt light bulbs in simple porcelain light sockets hang together by their extension cords from a nail on the wall.Primary Object Classification Mixed Media Primary Object Typefound objectAdditional Object Classification(s)Mixed MediaRights
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electric lamps (lighting device components)
installations (visual works)