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Gomez-Perales, Toy Boat
Photo: Jim Jardine, the Vancouver Art Gallery
Artist: Juan L. Gomez-Perales
Title: Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat
Date: 1985
Media: steel, wood, water, paper, electric fan
Dimensions: 365.8 x 365.8 x 152.4 cm
" Juan Gomez-Perales' work is intended to bring people together. His works are total installations that operate on the basis of an exchange with the gallery visitor. Juan's work operates on threelevels: first as sculpture, second as installation and on the third level as performance. The performance depends on the ongoing, continuing participation of the viewer. Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat ... is an installation sculpture that is a vehicle for the production of paper boats. Instructions are provided. The public makes the boats according to the instructions. After they are made, they are grouped together and installed on the wall as one large paper boat. The placement of the viewer is critical in his sculptures. They are not only a part of the work but part of the performance. The Toy Boat also bears reference to mass-produced items in our society, a comment on mass culture and technology."
Shirley Jayne-Raven Madill
Curator, Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1987
Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue:
1987 Contemporary Art in Manitoba
Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1987
ISBN: 0-88915-136-9

"Juan Gomez-Perales, Alan Storey, Katherine Knight and Collette Urban share a sensibility based in humour. All graduates of the University of Victoria, They have a healthy disregard for authoritarian structures. Their works acknowledge the absurdity of life and art's place within it. Their playfulness , however, is based in a serious doubt.

A self conscious engagement with the art object is crucial to the experience of Juan Gomez-Perales' sculptures. These works rely on the viewer's physical interaction and manipulation. The spectator, in effect, becomes the producer. Like a Pavlovian experiment, the meaning of these works is derived from the viewer's stimulus response. Perales inconcerned with the culturally determined nature of motor perception. ...
Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat accomodates both active and passive participants creating a relationship to the sculpture and it's instructional framework as well as to the other participants. It functions as a theatrical prop that always remains incomplete. Perales questions the role of the art object and it's relationship to everyday behaviour."

Helga Pakasaar, Keith Wallace
Curators, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1986
Excerpt from the exhibition catalogue:
Broken Muse
Vancouver Art Gallery, 1986
ISBN: 0-920095-59-3