In cemeteries, tombstones mark the dead. In museums, they list an artworkʼs statistics: its title, author, year, medium, provenance, and, occasionally, a curatorʼs note. By implication, the museological tombstone, like the slab laid atop a body six-feet under, memorializes a dead artwork—its aura (literally, “gentle breath”) expired (“breathed out”). As Baron Utz, from Bruce Chatwinʼs 1988 novel, declares, echoing Daniel Buren, “in any museum, the object dies—of suffocation or the public gaze.” Tombstones departs from this curious polysemy, with thirteen artworks born of ekphrastic catalog descriptions.
Presented from September 11 to November 1, 2021, at Room 482, Brooklyn, USA. Curated by Alice Gong Xiaowen. Text by Yongyu Chen.