New York

Erika Rothenberg And Tracy Tynan


Art has often moved in and out of, or otherwise engaged with, the real world. Such work, by positioning itself outside the gallery or manipulating “nonart” material within conventional spaces, acquires an edge by threatening the admittedly fine line we draw between fiction and reality, art and life. Acting like scientists, anthropologists, private detectives, or journalists, artists like Hans Haacke haul in artifacts from the real world as “evidence,” which they analyze and interpret to argue specific points. Working in the same vein, Erika Rothenberg and Tracy Tynan created an installation based on 17 authentic suicide notes, acquired from an anonymous source at the Los Angeles Police Department.

The artists rewrote the letters to disguise the handwriting and changed the authors’ names; otherwise they remained unaltered. Once the shock and the undeniable fascination of reading the

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