Heard at the New Museum’s “Younger Than Jesus” Show

I was looking at Chu Yun’s installation, “This Is Laura” (2006) which consists of a sedated female volunteer sleeping in the museum. She is sheltered from the museum goers by a lily white bed, duvet and pillows. At one point a tour group passed by and I didn’t pay the group much attention as I started to snap photos of the work. After a few minutes, the group was gone.

I continued to look at the woman asleep with the pillows smashed up against her head and spotted her foot poking off the mattress. As I approached to examine her toes the museum guard warned me not to touch her.

“I was going to ask you if I was allowed to wake her,” I said as I realized I wanted her to move and not lay so still.

“Oh no, that’s why I asked the tour group to step away from the work because I realized that the man who led the group was saying things that were critical of the piece and I didn’t want the woman to hear,” she said and then added “I really empathized and thought it would awful for her to hear them.”

The guard was speaking to me and a straight couple. The woman asked the guard, “What did he say?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t want to listen,” she replied.

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Background: Cory Arcangel “Photoshop CS: 72 by 110 inches, 300 DPI, RGB square pixels, default gradient “Spectrum”, mousedown y=1416 x=1000, mouse up y=208 x=42″ (2009)

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