Juan Muñoz: without the spectator, the work is incomplete


No one can hear what the figure is muttering to the wall. If you lean close, you can watch his lips moving, but he’s not saying anything. This proximity is intimidating, perhaps more for us than for him. There is a sense of having invaded the sculpture’s space. Illuminated by a powerful spotlight, the figure casts a long, distorted shadow on the wall. Some distance away, another man, seated at a table, turns to listen. He looks as though he is about to demand that the other one speak up. He, too, casts a shadow, just as we cast ours among theirs. In another room, another figure raises his arms and delights in his own monstrous shadow projected before him. All of us, it strikes me now, are shadow puppets, actors and make-believe.

Juan Muñoz made no attempt to convince us that these are real people, not sculptures, except by providing one figure with a mechanism beneath his silicon skin to work his lips.

more from The Guardian here.