freezer unit, Victorian furnishings, books
In this environment, the water in the vase of roses is frozen solid, and the glass has broken – the only visual clue to the disparity between the visual and physical presence of the room.
Books chosen for the room are pertinent to the subject. Some relate to the Victorian history of Pittsburgh -- its history and its steel industry. Some relate to the cold, such as a history of North Pole exploration.
Of his work, Spector notes: "The central ideas behind my art remain the same: the anxieties of time and distance; the dialectic of history and memory; and the morbidity within profusion."
Spector furnishes a beautiful parlor, with typically Victorian trappings. The temperature is set to 28 degrees.
This room was assembled during August and September of 1991, although it is set within a space constructed almost a century earlier. The building has been rehabilitated and converted into an exhibition space for contemporary art. This room has been restored and decorated so as to simulate its original incarnation. The look of the room is a fiction. It represents an idealized—hence nostalgic—moment of its history as a space. What is impossible to see in photographic reproductions the coldness of the room. Hidden machines have lowered the temperature below freezing. This effect is physical but invisible. It is the “real” experience here. Frozen, the room becomes another order of representation of itself. Coldness is its inscription. Buzz Spector is an artist and critical writer whose artwork has been the subject of solo exhibitions in such museums and galleries as the Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Grunwald Gallery of Art, Indiana University, Bloomington; Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV; and the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA. Spector’s work makes frequent use of the book, both as subject and object, and is concerned with relationships between public history, individual memory, and perception.