March 06 – May 22, 2021
HOW TO: Oh, Look at Me
Thursday, April 15, 2021. 7:30pm-9:30pm Video Premiere: GeoVanna Gonzalez: HOW TO: Oh, look at me
Locust Projects presents HOW TO: Oh, look at me, a new site-specific installation by Miami and Berlin-based artist GeoVanna Gonzalez, opening to the public on March 6 from 11am-5pm by appointment, admission is free.
HOW TO: Oh, look at me deepens Gonzalez’s commitment to creating provocative, participatory social spaces within institutional settings. As acts of queer infiltration, class—aware interventionism, her work wants us to see and explore, to dance and read—outloud the potential of our embodied cognition. We are only when we interact, when we commune.
The installation functions as the fifth iteration of the artist’s ongoing HOW TO series, in which Gonzalez creates works of art to accompany poems featured in the online open-source poetry collection tutorials by Martin Jackson at www.tutorials.fyi. Written and shared in cloud-based Google Docs, readers are invited to comment and edit the poems, creating a constantly-evolving, shifting collection of poetry that is never static or complete.
HOW TO: Oh, look at me invites you to view Gonzalez’s work in a similar light as open-source installation, in which the work is constantly created and recreated through interaction. The viewer is an active participant in the installation, becoming part of the artwork as they view, listen, and physically interact with other viewers and the installation itself.
The project serves as a physical embodiment of Martin Jackson’s poem No Rothko, creating an immersive environment that captures the metaphysical experience of viewing a Rothko painting and sharing this experience as a collective activity. The poem translated for this show reads, “We are, all of us, edgeless / and senseless.” There is no self without space, no “you” without where you are.
“It’s challenging…transforming from language to space, words to installation. But it’s revealing. They overlap – they’re different but the same. Poems build spaces that we enter, explore, that change us. I want my functional sculptures to do the same.” — GeoVanna Gonzalez
Upon entering the gallery space, visitors will be asked to cover their phone’s cameras with small colorful stickers similar to those used by Berlin’s famous techno club Berghain. This simple gesture protects those who may want to look or act in ways they wouldn’t outside the space, and encourages the visitor to live in and experience the moment.
Enveloped in cool, blue tones inspired by a Rothko painting, the center of the room features a structure for communal sitting and resting, with metal, bolts, and corners that have been physically translated from the words, commas, and syntax of No Rothko. Viewers are invited to interact with the sculpture while surrounded by the sound of rain in Miami, evoking feelings of contemplation and meditation.
The installation asks the viewer to contemplate how often they meditate and reflect on the notion of themselves, begging the question, “how often do we stop looking for flattering backdrop and light?”. Visitors are invited to look for looking’s sake, and enjoy the installation while reflecting on their individual experience; to see and explore, to dance and read out loud the potential of our embodied cognition.
GeoVanna Gonzalez: HOW TO: Oh, look at me is made possible, in part, with support from Oolite Arts, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI), and Pulp Arts.
Given the circumstances of the pandemic that does not allow the gatherings and exchange essential to Gonzalez’s work, Locust Projects, in partnership with Miami Light Project, has commissioned a new video work that will document a performance within the exhibition that will premiere to the public for free at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park on April 15 as part of Culture Crawl and Poetry Month. Additional public programs that further expand upon the installation’s themes to be announced.
HOW TO: Oh, Look at me was originally scheduled to open April 3, 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19
ABOUT THE ARTIST
GeoVanna Gonzalez is a Miami/Berlin-based artist and curator. Her work desires to connect private and public space through interventionist, participatory art with an emphasis on collaboration and collectivity. She builds installations that are designed for non-directive play in order to express the potential of our embodied cognition. She references architecture and design by reflecting on how the voids in the spaces we inhabit affect our everyday. Through her work she addresses the shifting notions of gender and identity, intimacy and proximity, and forms of communication and miscommunication in today’s technological and consumer culture. Her most recent work performs these possibilities by collaborating with movement and sound based artists. These improvisations are political acts, analyzing and critiquing what it means to share public space as womxn, queer folks and people of color. She is founder and curator of Supplement Projects, an alternative art space & community meeting point based in Miami; co-founder of performative reading club Read What You Want!; and member of queer/feminist arts collective COVEN Berlin.