Los Angeles

Gabriel Orozco

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

ON THE OCCASION OF HIS FIRST MAJOR SURVEY EXHIBITION, at LA MOCA, Gabriel Orozco told Benjamin Buchloh in a public dialogue that, as an artist, he works “in reality.” Identifying reality as his medium—as opposed to conventional practices such as sculpture and photography, both of which Orozco also deploys—is provocative. First, from an art-historical perspective, the equation between art and reality conjures up the tradition of the readymade initiated by Marcel Duchamp and transformed by postwar artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, who in 1959 famously declared: “Painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made. (I try to act in that gap between the two.)” The danger in Rauschenberg's declaration—one that has ambushed many artists, including at times himself—is that art will simplistically collapse into life, or life into art. Second, at least for those versed

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