Impossible objects : Gabriel Orozco’s Empty Shoe Box and Yielding Stone

Adamou, Natasha (2016) Impossible objects : Gabriel Orozco’s Empty Shoe Box and Yielding Stone. In: Halart, Sophie and Polgovsky Ezcurra, Maria, (eds.) Sabotage art : politics and iconoclasm in contemporary Latin America. London, U.K. : I.B. Tauris. pp. 130-150. (International Library of Modern and Contemporary Art, (15)) ISBN 9781784532253


This book chapter addresses the participation of Mexican contemporary artist Gabriel Orozco to the 1993 edition of the Venice Biennale with the works Empty Shoe Box (1993) and Yielding Stone (1992). In their status as everyday, almost unperceivable objects, these works were conceived to undermine this spectacular art event but ended up being rapidly consecrated and incorporated into the logic of the institution. Adamou’s chapter interrogates the tensions that arise when an artwork’s material conditions make it refractory to traditional modes of display. Her reading situates Orozco’s work in relation to Duchamp’s readymade and André Breton’s found object questioning, in light of these concepts, Orozco’s investigation of the tensions between object and sculpture, reality and representation.

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