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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

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JUNE 2021 Issue
The Miraculous The Miraculous: New York

58. (Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx)

Provided with a generous grant from a private foundation, an artist creates a realistic, larger-than-life-size marble sculpture of herself and her life-partner embracing in bed, naked except for a sheet artfully draped across their midsections. The pose is inspired by Le Sommeil, Courbet’s scandalous painting of lesbian reverie, which itself was inspired by Baudelaire’s equally scandalous poem, “Femmes Damnées (Delphine et Hippolyte).” Once finished, the sculpture, which the artist titles Memorial to a Marriage, is transported to Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx where it is permanently installed on a plot where she and her lover plan to be buried. At this time same-sex marriage is illegal in all 50 States. “What I can’t have in life,” the artist explains in an interview, “I will have forever, in death.”

(Patricia Cronin, Deborah Kass)

Contributor

Raphael Rubinstein

Raphael Rubinstein is the author of The Miraculous (Paper Monument, 2014) and A Geniza (Granary Books, 2015). He is currently writing a book about the Jewish-Egyptian writer Edmond Jabès. A Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art, he divides his time between Houston and New York.

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The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2021

All Issues