THE TAPESTRIES: 36 SERIES > uN'taneh Tokef
– Prayer Without Grey
The medieval piyyut (liturgical poem) recited on the Day of Atonement, which famously states “On Yom Kippur it is sealed,” bluntly forces us to face our own mortality. The stark either/or quality of the poem is both distant and shockingly immediate. The poetic comprehensiveness of every manner of human demise chills the reader with the repetitive “Who?”
Visually, the emotional distance needed to reflect upon these questions translates in this series into contrasting black and white images resembling traffic signs: to-the-point, minimal, and static. In some of the tapestries I chose to limit the interpretation to the method of killing or way of dying without depicting death itself.
(The titles in quotation marks are from the traditional piyyut and from Leonard Cohen’s version, “Who by Fire?”)