objects of the absent. The garment without the body, the
empty shell, the absent pearl.
Objects that belonged or were made by their owners, that dressed their
humanity or addressed their desires. Everyday objects now named, baptized
as art, undressed of their anonymous fashion and redressed with the sacredness
of absence, the hierarchy of loss.
Objects to remember, to put together, after the morning of mourning has
given way to a clear day when you can see forever.
To begin with: Anselmo’s shoes, Jorge’s shirt, Alberto’s mask. An urban
planner, a concert pianist, a mask maker killed by AIDS. Friends, dear
friends, and then the friends and relatives long gone of new friends here
in Albany and not just the dead since for some a country left behind is
also a death in the family.
Neither nostalgia nor celebration, the objects of the absent try to grasp
some of the essence of loss, recapturing and transforming grief into art,
pain into joy. A quiet joy, but nonetheless a joy, the joy of creation.
OCTOBER 24, 1997