One potato, two potato: Contemporary work at Harvard Art Museums

One potato, two potato: Contemporary work at Harvard Art Museums


This work, Analogia, is by an Argentine artist named Victor Grippo who was a very important artist within the late 60s, 70s, into 80s in Argentina. Having a work of art that has fresh produce in the gallery is something that requires constant vigilance, obviously when you care for works of art you don’t want mold, pretty much every three weeks we have to change out the potatoes and put new potatoes in, unlike a painting that hangs on the wall and you just make sure there’s no dust and no one runs into it, this really requires us to really be on top of its wear and care and the work analogy was one that was created during a moment in Argentina’s history that was extremely complicated politically; people had few freedoms, censorship, and quite frankly brutality was actually the norm. What he’s doing is taking that very basic scientific principle of energy being created by a potato which is of course the most basic foodstuff, but what he meant was we are all connected to each other I mean, although each potato as people said looks like it’s imprisoned in this box in fact it’s each person in their own place actually connects to his neighbor and the wires creating the energy are part of that; push the button and you can activate it basically, create the energy so this idea of community, despite the oppressive regime, was something he was actually very hopefully expressing through science. We try in this gallery to give a sense of so much of what was happening in the world because it was a moment that was absolutely extraordinary. Grippo represents both the socio-political as well as a materialistic example of what was happening in the 60s in the art world.

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