felix gonzalez-torres’ untitled (golden) hangs at the entrance to sfmoma’s 75th anniversary show.
the piece is an unavoidable curtain of golden, plastic mardi gras beads. the curtain works as a permeable barrier between the secular world and the sacred art world, but the cheap familiarity of the material mocks the concept that real life and art even have a definitive boundary. the long strands of beads are tricky enough to get through that every nonchalant museum-goer is forced to endure a public and awkward struggle. the absurdity of two women trying to continue a normal conversation while walking through the curtain actually made me laugh out loud–the perfect way to enter an exhibition.