ROOM 482

In cemeteries, tombstones mark the dead. In museums, they list an artwork's statistics: its title, author, year, medium, provenance, and, occasionally, a curator's 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 Chatwin's 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.

Robert Morris Levine (*1994, New York City, USA) is an artist and writer. He pays attention to language: its uses and abuses; its poethics; its politics; its cracks; its futility. This is his debut New York solo exhibition.


Robert Morris Levine


Tombstones, 2021 Single-channel audio, conventional 100lb hooks, conventional 50lb hooks, conventional 30lb hook, steel 30lb utility hooks, Hang-Straight Hook (patent #5069412), security wall brackets, Hangman Softy Heavy Duty Frame Hanger, heavy-duty cleat hanger, pro brass hook nail, walnut, 26-gauge zinc-plated sheet metal, hygrometer

Tombpetals Poem & exhibition response by Yongyu Chen