Details
Gory (Rogelio López Marín) (b. 1953)
It's Only Water in the Teardrop of a Stranger (Es sólo agua en la lágrima de un extraño)
gelatin silver print, in nine parts
each: 18 ⅝ x 12 ¾ in. (47.3 x 32.4 cm.)
Executed in 1986. This work is number ten from an edition of fifteen.
Provenance
Tresart, Miami
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Literature
H. Cotter, "Photography Review: Stylists of the Epic and the Surreal", The New York Times, 7 September 2001, pp. E29 and E31 (another example illustrated).
L. Camnitzer, New Art of Cuba, Revised Edition, Austin, 2003, pp. 62-63 (another example illustrated).
Exhibited
Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York University, Grey Art Gallery and Columbia College Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography After the Revolution, April 2001-March 2002, pp. 56-57 (another example illustrated on the cover and exhibited).
Miami, Aluna Art Foundation, Rogelio López Marín, “Gory”: Notes for a Retrospective (1975–2015), November 2015-January 2016 (another example exhibited).
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Lot Essay


Borrowing its title from a 1980 Peter Gabriel rock song, the present work places the viewer at the precipice of the metaphorical void. Across the lower edge of each photograph from the pool deck, Gory constructs his existential narrative, diving deep without coming up for air:

"Its only water in a strangers tears Like a swimmer trapped beneath a layer of ice, I keep searching for an air-hole.../...but I never find one. I've swum for a lifetime holding my breath. I can't think how the rest of you manage it. / We are blind--dazzled by the future. We never perceive what lies before us, never foresee the next moment until it hits us in the face. We see only what we have already seen, in other words, nothing. / I can't be the only one to have noticed, I am not that smart. They've merely agreed not to talk about it. / As blindly as we all do throughout our lives, never knowing what the next moment will bring, or wether [sic] our next step will land us on terra firma or send us tumbling into the void. / It seemed to me that I'd landed up in the wrong dream or the wrong world, or that I myself was wrong for this world - or dream, as the case may be. / If its true that I'm just a collective dream - that you dreamed me from the first, that I've never existed outside the minds of my audience - then I beg you from the bottom of my heart, to release me. Dream of something else from now on, not of me. / I can't endure it any longer. I don't expect you to wake up. Sleep on for as long as you please, and sleep sound, but dream of me no more. / Tell me something, ladies and gentlemen: what becomes of a dream when its dreamer awakes? Nothing? Does it cease to exist?"
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