Waiting for the enemy

Waiting for the enemy  2002 graphite on marble, 24 x 12 inches. Private collection, New York

“In his work Waiting for the Enemy, artist Glexis Novoa explores the political realities created by having a border surrounded by water.  A drawing of graphite on marble slate, it features a shoreline observation tower, topped with communication antennas.  Across the water in the distance sits a city skyline.  Where the viewer’s attention is immediately drawn, however, is the lens of this tower.  Instead of a camera or viewing window, inside sits a giant eye, staring directly back at the viewer.  The effect is eerie, and in looking at the work I was torn between looking away and staring back.  The work forces you to consciously make this decision, coercing you into interacting with it; whatever you decide though, you can’t shake the feeling that you’re being watched.  This, of course, is the intent when considered in context of the work’s setting.  This is a nation keeping constant watch over its borders, and the suggestion seems to be that the water border fosters a sense of big-brother paranoia – the interesting geographical position of these countries make them particularly vulnerable.”

By Berkley Todd, CUarts Blog (Columbia University Arts Blog); August 16, 2012.
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