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Shift your understanding of the Buddhist concept of impermanence with guest curator Christine Starkman, as she leads you through the special exhibition Measure Your Existence (February 7–August 10, 2020). Learn more about how the artists and their works play with temporality and interaction through her commentary and special interviews with featured artists Lee Mingwei and Meiro Koizumi.

Measure Your Existence Audio Tour Playlist


Stop 1 601.1 Introduction to Measure Your Existence with Curator Christine Starkman

The fleeting, impermanent here and now—in all its destruction, regeneration, and intense immediacy—is the ultimate reality. The exhibition Measure Your Existence questions and expands the Buddhist concept of impermanence through artworks by six contemporary artists who explore duration, survival, memory, fate, history, loss, disappearance, and reappearance. Visitors are called upon to co-produce, participate, and intimately experience works of art through time-based and durational installations. The exhibition creates ephemeral moments of reflection and meaning, inspiring personal recollection and reminiscence.



Stop 2 601.2- Bonus: Introduction to the Artists with Christine Starkman

Guest curator Christine Starkman runs through the artworks in the show and their themes as related to impermanence, interaction, and the passing of time.



Stop 3 602 - Untitled (Placebo) - Felix Gonzalez- Torres

Curator Christine Starkman introduces “Untitled” (Placebo), by artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres.



Stop 4 603.1 - My Voice Would Reach You - Meiro Koizumi

Featured artist Meiro Koizumi speaks about his process conceptualizing and creating his short film in the exhibition, My Voice Would Reach You.



Stop 5: 603.2 - Impermanence in My Voice Would Reach You - Meiro Koizumi

Meiro Koizumi discusses how chance and impermanence influenced the making of My Voice Would Reach You, particularly in his choice to shoot the film using the ever-changing background of the streets of Tokyo, and the long process of calling over 200 telephone operators to get the best shots seen in the film.



Stop 6: 603.2 -603.3 - Inspiration for My Voice Would Reach You - Meiro Koizumi

Meiro Koizumi describes his inspirations for the film, from his former job as a call center employee to a moving experience that stayed with him when visiting a friend in London.



Stop 7: 604.1 - The Letter Writing Project- Lee Mingwei

Featured artist Lee Mingwei is excited to present The Letter Writing Project at the Rubin Museum for the first time in twenty years. In our exclusive interview, he discusses what’s changed since then, his inspiration for the work, special moments from the work, and his plans for the letters when the project concludes.



Stop 8: 604.2 - Mourning My Grandmother Through Writing - Lee Mingwei

Lee Mingwei discusses how grieving the death of his grandmother, with whom he was very close, became a major inspiration for The Letter Writing Project.



Stop 9 - 604.3 - Letters Touching Lives - Lee Mingwei

Lee Mingwei describes a meaningful moment from the work’s history and how a letter changed the course of two participants’ lives.



Stop 10 - 605 - Stone Journey - Lee Mingwei

Featured artist Lee Mingwei discusses the process of creating the artwork, finding the stones, and the “homework” each owner of a pair of stones is responsible for.



Stop 11- 606 - A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters (I-XVIII) - Taryn Simon

Curator Christine Starkman introduces A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters (I-XVIII) by artist Taryn Simon.



Stop 12 - 607 - 1:14.19/1188.5 Miles of Fenced Border - Shilpa Gupta

Curator Christine Starkman introduces Shilpa Gupta’s work, 1:14.19/1188.5 Miles of Fenced Border—West, North-West/ Data Updated: Dec 31, 2007.



Measure Your Existence is supported by the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan) and Taipei Cultural Center in New York

ministry of culture

Image Credits:
Stop 602: “Untitled” (Placebo) 1991. Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957–1996); b. Guáimaro, Cuba; lived and worked in New York City) Candies in silver wrappers, endless supply. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Elisa and Barry Stevens, 1991
Stop 603: My Voice Would Reach You 2009. Meiro Koizumi (b. 1976, Gunma, Japan; Lives and works in Tokyo)Single-screen video; 16 min, 45 sec. Courtesy of Annet Grelink Gallery, Amsterdam, and Mujin-to Production, Tokyo.
Stop 604: The Letter Writing Project 1998. Lee Mingwei (b. 1964, Taichung, Taiwan; lives and works in Paris and New York City) Wood and glass Whitney Museum of American Art
Stop 605: Stone Journey 2010. Lee Mingwei (b. 1964, Taichung, Taiwan; lives and works in Paris and New York City) Glacial stone, bronze, and wood Courtesy of the artist
Stop 606: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I– XVIII 2011. Taryn Simon (b. 1975, New York, NY; lives and works in New York City) Framed archival inkjet prints and text
Stop 607: 1:14.9 / 1188.5 Miles of Fenced Border – West, North-West / Data Updated: Dec 31, 2007 2011-2012. Shilpa Gupta (b. 1976, Mumbai, India; lives and works in Mumbai). Polyester thread, wood, glass, and brass. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

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