Lorna Simpson - 15 Mouths
American, b.1960
15 Mouths, 2002
Iris printed images on velour paper, mounted on Hahnemuhle Copperplate with letterpress printed text, series of 15, 1.58 x 3.25 inches
Edition 17/40
Pace Editions Inc.

Alumni Gift

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1960, Lorna Simpson began her career as a documentary photographer. Recognized in the mid-1980's for her provocative photographs of black women that challenged racial and gender stereotypes, Lorna Simpson soon began to investigate the myriad readings of photography, making conceptual compositions that combined black-and-white images with text and used the discrepancy between the two to block traditional or stereotyped interpretations. She is perhaps best known for works that link words with potent images and require the viewer to participate in the creation of the meaning.

This piece was originally an instillation piece that consisted of 15 video recorded mouths humming the Rodgers and Hart tune Easy to Remember. She chose the song specifically as she has vivid memories of John Coltrane’s version of the song being present throughout her childhood. The text that goes along with the photo seems to refer to a monologue inside those whom the lips belong.