Like that movie ‘Citizen Kane’ where you later find out that Rosebud was a sled
– Julie Brown
At the end of The Social Network Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly refreshes his browser to see if “that girl” has accepted his friend request, it’s Sorkin & Fincher’s nod to Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane.
The two films may be attempting to say, “Kane or Zuckerberg, not such a big, towering, intimidating, all-powerful man… just a small person spending a lifetime longing for the repair of a small wound a long time ago.”
Even if that’s the intention, what I love about those moments is the reminder that it’s not Burj Al Arab or Trump Tower, it’s never the huge sweeping gestures, but the tiniest moments that touch our souls.
He’s run one of the most powerful corporations on the face of the earth, and been American vice-president, yet nothing Dick Cheney has done has ever really touched me. But when I see my mother meticulously re-cleaning every square inch of her home before a few friends come over, it moves me to tears.
And in that context is Gallery Xue’s first exhibition, Earthly Remains, a group show of coffins.
It’s funny, you check into a cheesy hotel room for a single night, and still, you take time to arrange your nightstand for convenience, and also a little bit to make this generic room become about you.
Perhaps you put out a toothbrush… glass of water… a hair clip… a clock… maybe a bible… your glasses… a picture of someone…
Nothing more than a bit of small care, yet it says both something of who you are, and something of who it is that inhabits this room for this time.
Paradoxically, when our bodies are placed in “our final hotel room,” we don’t make those choices… we’re already gone and others make them for us. Sometimes they find just the right items to remind our friends and family of who we were. Just the right items to accompany us on our journey into the long night. But other times their selections aren’t so much about us as they are a projection of their own needs, issues, ideas, and aesthetics.
In Earthly Remains you have the opportunity to decorate your final hotel room yourself. You have the opportunity to make the final statement of your identity. You can proclaim with subtle elegance, with bold defiance, or however feels right, who you were and how you would like to be remembered.
Artists are invited to do what they will with these “hotel rooms,” upholster the interior, retexture or reshape them, hang curios, war medals, childhood toys, photos of loved ones. Anything.
As you see in the photos, the Gallery Xue Earthly Remains full-perm decoratable coffin easily accommodates a petite avatar like Xue Faith at 157cm / 5’2″ tall… or a strapping lad like Vertigo Luckless at 213cm / 7′ tall!
Empty coffins are available free online:
Please bring your finished coffins by Gallery Xue, Avalon, on Friday, July 22, between 9am & 5pm SLT / PDT. You are welcome to request a particular gallery for your piece:
We’ll install all day Friday, and then the opening will be four hours on Saturday (early Sunday in Taipei) simultaneously at all 4 Gallery Xue locations:
Gallery Xue, Avalon – 11am – 3pm SLT
Gallery Xue, London – 7 – 11pm BST
Gallery Xue, Amsterdam – 8pm – Midnight CEST
Gallery Xue, Taipei – 2 – 6am Sunday, CST
Click any thumbnail image below to enter slide-show mode and then use your arrow keys to scroll through the image gallery.