The current Gund Gallery exhibition, Call/Response: The Gund Gallery Turns 10, is now open to visitors. As the Gallery celebrates its 10th anniversary, its curators are looking ahead with new art from different perspectives, and what connects past, present and future. This semester’s installation is a continuation of the fall semester’s Call/Response exhibition, a show of works from the Gallery’s own collection.
Curator of Academic Programs Jodi Kovach explained that the new exhibition highlights how the Gallery has evolved over the years. “This is a way for us to gain new perspective on the works we have in the collection by interpreting them in dialogue with these other pieces,” she said. The Gallery’s curatorial team — including student associates — also created labels to emphasize the connections between the pieces on display and the ones from last semester, making the associations clearer for museum-goers.
When asked about her favorite piece, Kovach mentioned the addition of a Felix Gonzalez-Torres installation called Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.). The piece is composed of candy, and it is a memorial to the artist’s partner, Ross Laycock, who died of AIDS in 1991. “It is a metaphor for the diminishing body when a person dies, and when a person is sick,” Kovach said. The work challenges the idea of what art belongs in a museum, and it invites the viewer to take a piece of candy from the exhibit home with them. Gallery Director and Chief Curator Daisy Desrosiers felt similarly about the piece. “I’m always amazed by the charge and yet the simplicity of this work,” she wrote in an email to the Collegian. “Stop by, you’ll see.”
Torres’ multi-sensory installation is just one of the new pieces on display; many other pieces encourage students to experience art from different cultures. Livia Corona Benjamin’s Huapalcalco / Conversion A and Rancho Grande / Conversion B — black and white photographs of repurposed grain silos — are “aesthetically very astute,” according to Kovach. “The piece engages with various aspects of Mexican history, and also speaks to a lot of issues that are important to students on campus and what they’re studying,” she said.
McArthur Binion’s DNA: Sepia: V is another unforgettable work. The artist used copies of personal documents, including his birth certificate and address book, as the work’s foundation. Binion’s piece is a statement on his life and his experiences growing up as a brown man in the South. Looking closely, the viewer is able to gain insight into Binion’s process and understand the meaning behind it, as if looking through a lens at his own history.
If you saw last semester’s exhibition, this semester’s works will expand the discussion. If you missed last semester’s exhibition, they are bound to start a conversation. “The Gund Gallery is a space for unexpected connections to be made, and for your imagination to wander into new territories,” Desrosiers wrote. “Don’t hesitate to stop by, you never know what you may find and the new discoveries you’ll make!”
The pieces in Call/Response will be on display throughout the spring semester, and you won’t want to miss them — they will stay with you, as the Gund Gallery continues to tell stories we haven’t heard before.