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Palimpsest

Palimpsest

Kay Rosen Palimpsest 1991 Relief etching in red on Rives BFK White paper with deckled edge

Image size: 19 5/8 x 14 inches (49.8 x 35.6 cm)
Paper size: 25 5/8 x 19 5/8 inches (65.1 x 49.8 cm)
Edition of 27
Signed, titled, dated and numbered on reverse in graphite
(Inventory #31023)

The tenuousness and slippage which occurs in language parallel the fragility and uncertainty inherent in political systems of power. In “Palimpsest” a sacrosanct list of popes and kings, whose nine predecessors enjoyed authority determined, validated, and endorsed by a history of their namesakes, is thrown into confusion by the final ambiguous function of the single letter “X”. “X” changes this history from unquestionable ancestry to unknown ancestry. Historical predicability is threatened by the implications of a letter.