Unburied Sounds

photography of black hanging bells during daytime

Wolf, you have taken another pelt and I can’t bear to calculate who is the next of our missing to provide it, and now you enter the herd. But I can see the space between your first and second skins and it smells like tainted meat. How weary we are of these poisons. Muscles ache with fatigue. It won’t be long before another surrenders, too tired to keep standing in it.

And yet. Here is an artist whose medium is bombshells. He changes them by touch and attention. This one is a flowerpot, this one a vase. He makes a mobile from the casings. From one that could have killed everyone assembled, he makes a temple bell.

This is no disguise, but an undoing. Here is an invitation to the living, to hear another sound, to repurpose the old husk, to offer instead of obscure. Even to you, wolf. You can take off your cloak, unstop your ears. The bodies you left are still sounding, each a bell.


Inspired by the work of Tuan Andrew Nguyen, as presented in a New York Times article I read this morning. The title of this post comes from the centerpiece of an exhibition set to open at the end of the month, at New York City’s New Museum.


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