PRINT December 1987


the Names Project.

THE SIGHT OF IT let loose a motley of mental pictures, images sacred, profane, solemn, bucolic, sometimes hilarious: a comforter; a graveyard; a picnic cloth; Betsy Ross; the pavement of the stars at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. In the capital, on the Washington Mall, a huge quilt rolled out to a length of over four city blocks. By now, December, it’s longer. The image that the huge quilt forms in the memory is that of a maze, an architecture whose shape intertwines the terror of confinement with the hope of release.

Legend has it that the form of the maze long preceded its embodiment in stone and topiary, originating in the patterns in the entrails of sacrificed animals, spilled out on the ground to be consulted as an oracle. Many of us who came to view the Names Project were also looking for oracles, and maybe miracles, as we slowly got lost looking, alone or in small groups, along the

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1987 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.