I loved the MoMA show and I had a deep and visceral reaction to it. I actually began to cry in the galleries. This surprised me a great deal, mostly because I know the work and I sort of knew what to expect. It is overwhelming for me to think about the ideas and reactions I have to the work and to the entire show, which I think is beautifully installed.
The first time I saw a Gober installation was the work he had at Dia in 1993 and I confess, I actually had no idea that it was fabricated artwork. As I walked through the same piece at MoMA, I became acutely aware of all of the things that I missed when I saw the piece all those years ago.
It’s impossible for me to separate the imagery in Gober’s work from the massive loss of life to AIDS and how that is manifested on the body. When I walked into the re-creations of the installations from Dia and also the installation from the Jeu de Paume, this was manifestly present. The landscape as a prison, the promise of healing waters, the denial of the intact body, and poisons for the elimination of pests all brought this into overwhelming focus for me.