Lee Goreas is a Toronto-based artist best known for his multimedia installations comprised of photographs, drawings, sculptures, and videos that cross-examine subjects such as car culture and astronomy, art history and golf. He is currently engaged in the development of four new book-works using malapropisms, puns, images of lost and found objects, and model cars parts to explore humor and narrative. He is also in the pre-production phase of a new series of experimental time-based site-specific line drawings. You can experience his most recent sculpture project in the group exhibition MINI GOLF- a social project, curated by Iga Janik and opening this Friday at the Cambridge Art Gallery. Goreas has taught at the University of Victoria, the University of Guelph, Sheridan Institute of Technology, and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. He is represented by Birch Libralato Gallery in Toronto.
1. Quotes about astronomy
While engaged in undergraduate studies in the Fine Arts department of the University of Victoria in 1988 I enrolled in a first year astronomy course. This course changed forever my conception of time and space. I was stunned by the concept that the further we gaze into space the further back we are looking into time, and that the light from a star reaching us today probably no longer exists and has not existed for hundreds of thousands or millions of years. The start of every chapter of my Introduction to Astronomy textbook started with a quote by a scientist, poet, inventor, philosopher, or astronomer. This Italian proverb is my favorite:
"All cannot live on the piazza but everyone may enjoy the sun."
2. A line for walk & theft
My favorite artist for several years was Swiss-born Paul Klee. I was obsessed by his approach to drawing: his notion that a line was made up of a series of points and that the act of drawing was "taking a line for a walk." I was so obsessed with his work that I did something that I am ashamed of still to this day: I actually stole a book. This book, entitled The Thinking Eye, contained the complete collection of Paul Klee's writing and notes from his lectures at The Bauhaus. I am now working on a series of temporary installations of performance-based line drawings using highway marking spray paint wherein I take a line for a walk.
3. Knife in Krzysztof Komeda
One of Roman Polanski's best films is his first: Knife in the Water. It's a black and white film from 1962 about a wealthy couple - an older man and a younger woman - who pick up a teenage male hitchhiker and go sailing on a secluded lake for an overnight voyage. The film is about class, youth, the establishment, and gender politics. It was the first art film I can remember seeing. Over fifteen years later, I recently watched it again and was still blown away by the cinematography, but now even more so by the soundtrack. Later while discussing the movie with architect Gene Mastrangeli, he informed me that the score was composed by one of the most famous and experimental Polish jazz musicians of the modern era, Krzysztof Komeda, who died in 1969 under suspicious circumstances. I have listened to his album Astigmatic non-stop for the past several days, and would argue that his work rivals Miles Davis's Bitches Brew.
4. The endless, endless, endless, endless, Endless Column
Brancusi is one of the most influential sculptors of the modern era - if not the most. His work is like the shot heard 'round the world at the start of the American Revolution. Rosalind Krauss positions Brancusi as a pivotal figure and an influence on both Minimalism and Pop in her history of modern sculpture Passages. From Donald Judd's repeated modular machined planes to the highly polished mirrored surfaces of Jeff Koons' balloon dogs, artists are indebted to, reference, and pay homage to Brancusi. On the flip side of this are contemporary artists who take readymade or assisted readymade objects and stack them, one atop the other, in the form of his Endless Column. Over the past several years I have seen too many examples of this. My humble and obsessive plea is for artists to internalize Brancusi: make new forms and stop using the Endless Column as an art historical one liner.
5. Time machine
A past obsession, and still my favorite and most rewarding, is a road trip anywhere in an automobile. Apart from the negative impact of the automobile on both the urban and rural environments, the corporate greed associated with oil production, and the high costs of fuel, I am still mesmerized by the effect of traveling down a mountain highway, country road, or a mega-city freeway with an ever-changing landscape enveloping you and your vehicle while you travel through time and space. These trips have produced some of the most lucid and enlightened discussions I have had with peers. After reflecting upon my love for the road and the experience it produces, I developed a theory of time travel based on the age of an automobile, the remote location of blue highways, and the surrounding geological eras.
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