Ydessa Hendeles, Partners (The Teddy Bear Project), 2002. Photo: Robert Keziere
Many of the objects featured in “The Keeper” implicitly circle around the idea of preservation as a form of memento mori—a reminder of death. While this expression has historically been associated with asceticism and the renouncement of earthly possessions, this month’s New Perspectives tour will investigate the act of excessively accumulating and preserving objects and images as a way of meditating on mortality. Together, we will consider how specific collections like Howard Fried’s The Decomposition of My Mother’s Wardrobe (2014–ongoing), Hannelore Baron’s ritual box constructions, and Ydessa Hendeles’s Partners (The Teddy Bear Project) (2002) act as both reminders of and wards against the ephemerality of our own lives and the lives of the images that we collect.
New Perspectives tours are led by the New Museum Teaching Fellow, an emerging scholar in art history or a related field. The topics of the tours are based on the Fellow’s ongoing research and change monthly, engaging participants in uniquely focused examinations of selected objects and installations. To read descriptions of current and upcoming New Perspectives tours, please view the calendar.
New Perspectives tours are free with Museum admission, but capacity is limited. Please preregister here to attend, and meet in the Lobby at the time of the tour.
The current New Museum Teaching Fellow Maggie Mustard is a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, where she is completing her dissertation on postwar Japanese photography.