Whitney Biennial 2012

Solo en Inglès

This audio guide allows visitors to hear directly from artists as they discuss the thoughts, processes, and ideas behind their work in the 2012 Whitney Biennial exhibition.

NARRATOR: Artist Oscar Tuazon.

OSCAR TUAZON: I started working with a module; I wanted to figure out—sort of a module for one person, a space for one person. So it’s just a space big enough to stand in, and it’s like a phone booth, or a shower, or a closet. And from there I wanted to start assembling those modules and building groups, building corridors, spaces, bigger spaces. Ideally I’d like the piece to exist without a form at all–it can be reconfigured, rebuilt, moved around, used for any kind of multiple purpose people want to use it for.

The piece lives for most of the exhibition in the lobby gallery. And then for one week it moves to the fourth floor and is used as part of a performance—as sort of a fashion show by the artist K8 Hardy. It’s something I like a lot, to design work that gets used for something.

I guess the difference between how an architect would work with space and how an artist would work with space, in my mind, is that an architect needs to design around preexisting uses, around things that we’re habituated to doing. And I don’t really have that. That’s not my job [laughs]. I feel like I can design for uses that haven’t been invented yet—activities that aren’t even recognized as—that can’t be recognized—ways of feeling or ways of being in a space. So it’s kind of useless usefulness.

Oscar Tuazon (b. 1975), “I want to put something inside my body and carry something in it. I want to get inside my body and get carried in it, I’d like to get buried in it, put my head in it and get in it, I’m not scared of it”, 2010. Welded steel, clamps, canvas, plastic tubing, water. 84 x 192 x 12 in. (213.4 x 487.7 x 30.5). Collection of Kunsthaus Zurich. © Oscar Tuazon; courtesy the artist and Maccarone, New York