Fernando Ortega introduces himself by letting go a cry. During a Sonic Youth concert. And whoever looks at him - or doesn't - is unknowingly performing the choreography for an introduction.
One beautiful thing about this work is that it's seemingly uneffective. The limit of Ortega's cry is all too clear. Nobody is paying attention. Except this guy there in the middle. And the one to his left. And those two on the far right. And the one above them - is he looking here?
This is the common space. The space of the exchange of looks. The anonymous, planned but improvised meeting takes place between these few people, as they are looking in the direction of the screamer, the artist.
I like this work. Recently, I discovered that this blog feels similar. It feels like screaming your guts out during a Sonic Youth concert, and if you're not paying attention, it seems like nobody really cares. But as you look closer, there are some individuals who actual do give a damn, a few of them I meet personally, some of them I bump into by coincidence, others I discover on the net. Not that many, if you eliminate all the completely accidental visits, and the people interested in cutting the penis. But more and more.
Going back to Fernando Ortega, one qualityhis work has is that a lot of it consistently develops one theme: the impact of the single occurance, maybe an anonymous one, or apparently not even an event. Something happens, somewhere. The beauty of the artist's role is then to put this forward. To make us realize the potential importance of that event. Paraphrasing the Polish poet Wisława Szymborska, we discover that the unimportant can be of more importance than the important.
More of Ortega at the Lisson Gallery site.