San Antonio Artist Raul Gonzalez Turns House Cleaning Into Performance Art at Artpace Exhibit


Saturdays are for sweeping and tidying up the house, and artist Raul Gonzalez is bringing that energy to Artpace on Saturday, July 13, with a four-hour performance.

Gonzalez will be Swiffering, dancing to a specially curated playlist and touching up the Main Space gallery at Artpace, where his exhibit, Front and Back, and Side to Side is currently on display.

"For this performance, I want to treat the space as an office or home that needs cleaning, or one that needs maintaining," Gonzalez said. "I can recall Saturday mornings spent cleaning our family’s apartment alongside my mom and two younger sisters. My mom would pop in her cassettes and jam her favorite songs on the home stereo. She often played Tejano, new wave, and pop dance songs."
Artist Raul Gonzalez takes inspiration for his performance from childhood memories and his experiences as a stay-at-home father. - RAUL GONZALEZ/FACEBOOK
  • Raul Gonzalez/Facebook
  • Artist Raul Gonzalez takes inspiration for his performance from childhood memories and his experiences as a stay-at-home father.
The name of the performance is I got ta' maintain, a nod to his role as a stay-at-home father and to the upkeep of the physical art installation itself, which is made primarily of duct tape. Part of Gonzalez's four-hour performance, which will be livestreamed on Artpace's Facebook page, will be reapplying and repairing damaged neon tape.

Front and Back, and Side to Side was inspired by the light and shadows in the Main Space itself, as well as the rhythms of hip hop and disco music Gonzalez listened to while applying duct tape and cardboard to the room.

"One of my earliest memories of using bright colors was when I was about two or three years old," Gonzalez said. "[My mom] once brought me home some really nice highlighters that I drew with for weeks. Little did I know that color scheme would continue to evolve throughout my artwork. Here I am in my thirties using bright-neon duct tape to create immersive installation."

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