so i travelled to amsterdam and copenhagen this past week (highly suggested amsterdam, copenhagen, not so much) and i went to the sedelijk museum for modern and contemporary art in amsterdam. i saw this piece that really struck me:
it is called “untitled” (a love meal) 1992 by felix gonzalez-torres. it is a string of lights hanging from the ceiling and spilling on to the floor.
gonzalez-torres was a cuban-born american artist who was openly gay and made art during the aids epidemic. he made this piece for his partner after he died of aids. the string of lights is invokes a sense of fixed time of life. just like light bulbs, eventually our time of shining bright comes to an end. however, lights are seen as a joyous and happy thing, often put out during holidays, parties, and birthdays. the lights remind us to enjoy our life as well as the lives of others and remember that this is so, so temporary.
this really reminded me of my grandmother (my oma) who passed a way about a year ago on march 20, 2018. she was a sweet, old german lady who always had soft, warm hands and would always feed me too much kuchen. i know i will see her again in heaven one day, but when i saw the piece it reminded me that, yes, life is so finite. i also find it interesting that a work of art inspired and dedicated for ones late partner can also resonate with me when my grandmother passed. two different people, two different types of relationships; however, the phenomenon of death and grief still hold us.
felix gonzalez-torres passed away from aids complications in 1996.
life is finite. please love yourself and love others deeply, fiercely, and with purpose.