My sister, Jenn Palumbo, sent me some fantastic images from her Halloween trip to the Green-Wood Cemetery in Park Slope, Brooklyn. A writer and stand-up comedian, Jenn says she found the experience strangely fascinating, how each tombstone tells a vignette about the person: Captain Snodgrass, beloved husband, lost at sea; Emily Rose, age 4 days. Of course, going through the cemetery with her husband and fellow comedian, Mike Siscoe, also brought unexpected one liners-- Retailer Tiffany's coffin? Blue box with a white bow.
It seems particularly relevant then to talk about a show I'm in right now at the Queens Museum. A Book About Death is a postcard tribute to Ray Johnson, an artist who used the postal system as part of an artisitc performance. An open call to artists from around the world generated postcards as part of one communal piece of art. In some ways, each postcard is similar to Jenn's trip to the cemetery-- offering glimpses of an individual's story in a communal context.