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15 Mouths

15 Mouths

Lorna Simpson 15 Mouths 2002 Fifteen iris printed images on Velour paper with deckled edge,

mounted on Hahnemühle Copperplate with letterpress printed text, series of fifteen
Image size:  1 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches each  (3.8 x 8.3 cm each)
Plate size:  1 3/4 x 3 3/8 inches each  (4.4 x 8.6 cm each)
Paper size:  10 x 8 inches each  (25.4 x 20.3 cm each)
Edition of 40, 10 AP
Signed and numbered on colophon in graphite
(Inventory #31752)

Exhibited: November 11, 2017 – December 23, 2018

Read more about this work here

“15 Mouths” consists of 15 photographs, each with a short text below it, all installed on a wall, along with an audio recording of an ensemble humming (not singing the lyrics) the Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart tune “It’s Easy to Remember (And So Hard to Forget)”. Simpson chose the song specifically as she has vivid memories of John Coltrane’s version of the song being present throughout her childhood. The text below each image of lips could potentially refer to the internal monologues inside the head (not shown) to whom the lips belong. As Holland Cotter wrote in the New York Times, “Much of Lorna Simpson’s photo-based work has been about African-American identity approached from an oblique and elusive perspective. Most of the figures in her pictures, usually black women, were filmed with their backs to the camera, as if to make them generic presences, adaptable to any narrative. The implication is that there are many narratives about race available, all of them conditional and subjective, created by the pressures of personal experience, interpretation and memory.”

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