Qualis Artifex Pereo (what an artist dies with me)
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Teleprompter, found poetry
46 × 178 × 46 cm, 11'00"
2020

Elfreide Jelinek said that “language should be tortured to tell the truth.” Slavoj Žižek added, “the most elementary form of torturing one’s language is called poetry.” They meant this figuratively. Qualis Artifex Pereo (what an artist dies with me) makes literal the bond between poetry and torture, displaying the poems of politicians who condemned untold millions to ethnic cleansing, genocide, starvation, and purge. It draws its title from Nero, the first such poet-warrior, who on his deathbed exclaimed “what an artist dies with me.” This is a statement and a question.

An angled photograph of a black teleprompter in a white gallery with concrete floors. At the bottom of the teleprompter lies a square screen, which projects text onto an angled glass panel. The text does not appear on the glass—it is only legible from directly in front.The same teleprompter in the same space, photographed from directly behind. The glass is now angled away from the camera, but the text remains invisible.
A close-up, front-on photograph of the teleprompter's glass panel. The image projected on to the screen is now visible, revealing large black sans-serif text that reads: 'Mountain./I whip my quick horse and do not dismount / and look back in wonder. / The sky is three feet away.'