03 March 2014

Aspettando Godot

Now on display at an exhibition space co-sponsored by SperimentArt and Tanalois Art is Daco Monday's Aspettando Godot, inspired by Samuel Beckett's seminal 1953 play Waiting for Godot (originally published in French as En attendant Godot). Set on a 100x100 square meter platform is a large cube, one side removed, the other sides marked with the number 12, reminiscent of a playing die or of a child's alphabet block. In front of the entire structure stand two cranes, red and white, each holding an image of Karl Marx, and within the cube are smaller cubes, each containing a vignette that stylistically evokes surrealism. Below the cranes is an assemblage of clocks and a self-portrait of the artist in wireframe.

I'm very familiar with Waiting for Godot, having seen it many times in multiple languages both in the United States and in Europe, and having known and worked with actors who were personally directed by Beckett. How much of the apparent symbolism here—eyes, cranes, Karl Marx, candles, a gun, cigarettes, the number 12, a fried egg—relates to the play remains a mystery to me, although the use of clocks is an obvious connection. While one can view the shockingly abusive relationship between Pozzo and Lucky, for example, through the lens of class inequality, there's no overt political stance taken by Beckett in the play, so what is it that prompts the use of images of Karl Marx? Perhaps much of the symbolism arises from the surrealist interest in interpreting dreams—this installation looking quite dream-like—reminding us of how Estragon, the poet of the play, tries unsuccessfully to share his dreams with Vladimir. In any case, as a standalone work, Aspettando Godot is worth a visit, and I'd recommend reading a humorous conversation between ush Underwood and Apmel Meerson on Apmel's blog as they explore the build and attempt to deconstruct its meaning.

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