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GOG: A Duo Gordon Owen & Grossman
New York, NY
Neighborhood: Park Slope



ARTIST STATEMENT: GOG: A Duo We are a visual artist and a writer who started collaborating this past year because of our responsiveness to each other's work and our similar visions for a world that would provide all people - regardless of race, age, nationality, religion (or lack of it), and gender - with compassion and justice, as well as sheer creature comforts and beauty. In Ellen's sculptural work, chain link fence material creates structures at once graceful and tortured while her drawings map imaginary terrestrial and celestial topographies. Chris's current writing is set in mythical times and places not to be found on any map. As we explore ways to combine the visual images and text - so far, on a scroll containing both, and in the sculptures designed to "speak" the text - we find ourselves returning to our individual work spaces charged up with new ideas, the very act of collaborating embodying our dream of a world in which people listen and speak together to make decisions. We dedicate our joint work-in-progress to the victims of racist incarcerations and xenophobic deportations and bans. Our speaking sculpture is one segment of a larger work devoted to a reconsideration of the Minotaur myth, which we find as potent and revealing now as it must have been thousands of years ago. The structure itself is both claustrophobic and also almost transparent, and the Minotaur's voice, emerging from a small recorder placed inside it, challenges "truths" too often taken for granted, whether they involve stories we hear as mere entertainment or in the form of punitive, racist stereotypes of the Other in our midst that lead to unjust imprisonments and deportations. In his distress over the role forced on him, the Minotaur implicitly raises questions about our unreliable assumptions: who is actually to blame? and what response to innocence and guilt is "right"? The maze like cell doors that open and close also pose questions: are we locked in or out and by whom - ourselves or our jailers? Are there really no better responses? GOG: A Duo Minotaur Video: https://youtu.be/988E76_YVnE
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