Springfield, Ohio – Cuban born and internationally known Cuban-American contemporary artist Juan-Sí Gonzáَlez will conduct an Artist-in-Residence project at Wittenberg University from Monday, Oct. 11 through Friday, Oct. 22. Titled “Tiger Balm – infla-action for a closed space,” the project will be a site-specific installation completed through a collaboration of art students, members of the Wittenberg community and other groups in the Springfield area, including Project Jericho and the Clark County Detention Center.
An opening reception will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, in the Thompson Gallery in Koch Hall. The installation will remain in place through Dec. 1.
The installation will reflect on “what United States-China relationship means for both countries: who depends on whom and what the repercussions of China’s seemingly inexhaustible levels of production and the United States’ insatiable consumption might reflect,” Gonzalez said. “It should question the effect on the environment and on the global and domestic economies of each country and how the items speak to a sense of home. Questions of how they define us, and we them.”
As the installation blends Chinese-made plastic toys and domestic utensils with photographs, text, map, sound, video and other objects for the final performance and mixed media installation, the artist hopes to explore the dynamics of human existence.
González will also meet with WittSem and art department classes to discuss contemporary art practices and his personal work. As a contemporary artist, Gonzáَlez said that he aims to “help people to see the strategic value of using art as a way of ‘intervening,’ both physically and conceptually in ‘public’ spaces to open up the possibilities of using art as a creative medium for spectators.
“My work is the result of an emotional and geographic displacement. It is the hyphen connecting two cultures, two languages and two ideologies,” Gonzáَlez added. “It reflects my continual process of integration and disintegration, usingvisualfragments to reconstruct the trajectory of my personal journey.”
Gonzáَlez visit is made possible by the Artist-in-Residence Program that is part of Wittenberg’s First-Year Experience and the university’s Department of Art.
Written By: Phyllis Eberts