Shoe Box at the Museum of Modern Art. Pic: Andrew Russeth
The Empty Shoe Box you see in the middle of the fourth floor of Tate Modern isn’t just any old shoe box… it’s an Orozco shoe box. Reminiscent of how he found it to be something he could use to easily transport his belongings from one place to another, he reinterprets the idea of movement, the notion of constantly accumulating different places on his many travels with his biggest exhibition yet.
Although the show isn’t in chronological order, Orozco’s works (spanning from 1991 to the present) all kind of mesh. Glimpses of the poetic and fleeting moments we tend to ignore are captured in photographs like Cats and Watermelons, an image of cat food tins placed atop the bulbous fruit in near-perfect symmetry; then there’s Chicotes, dismantled rubber tyres and aluminium laid out to evoke the smell of the highways of Mexico, where Orozco grew up.
Revisiting the experimentation he’s well-known for, Orozco confronts the audience with his playful side with pieces like the Carambole with Pendulum; an oval-shaped pool table with no pockets where the red ball is suspended from the table (like a pendulum). A fan made of toilet paper hangs from the ceiling in the next room. The room after that houses Until You Find Another Yellow Schwalbe, a series of 40 photographs in which Orozco photographed his bike next to identical bikes parked along the streets of Berlin.
Highlights definitely include the Citroën DS car Orozco modified to exaggerate it’s smooth, sleek design (La D.S) and Black Kites - the human skull with a checkerboard pattern painted directly on its surface. Yet, it’s the hidden gems within the exhibition such as his collection of photographs that may make you muse over the wider relations they encompass. Gabriel Orozco’s uniquely inventive exhibition is at Tate Modern until April 25. (Words: Syriah Bailey)