A Heartfelt COVID-19 Memorial Exhibit Is Coming To The Brooklyn Museum This October

Justine Golata Justine Golata

A Heartfelt COVID-19 Memorial Exhibit Is Coming To The Brooklyn Museum This October

The global pandemic has left its mark on millions, and the Brooklyn Museum’s upcoming exhibit will memorialize this time in history forever.

On October 29th, 2021, the Brooklyn Museum will welcome A Crack in the Hourglass: An Ongoing COVID-19 Memorial, where space will be provided “to collectively honor and grieve the victims of the pandemic in New York City and worldwide.”

Though we have seen enormous improvements such as a drop in COVID-19 cases and the widespread distribution of the vaccine, we still face an immense amount of work to do in order to fight the coronavirus.

This exhibition is a response to COVID-19’s direct impact on halting the public’s daily rituals and a way to memorialize the all the lives lost. Additionally, it will stand as another resource in the Museum’s journey to continue aiding the community in recovery, being that NYC was an area with one of the highest numbers of pandemic-related deaths in the United States.

Thanks to Mexican-Canadian media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, the exhibit will feature momentary portraits made with hourglass sand.

This will be the first opportunity for people to see Lozano-Hemmer’s work live, as the project was initially commissioned in 2020 by the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City.

The public is encouraged to submit photographs of those they have lost to COVID-19 at acrackinthehourglass.net, along with a custom dedication of up to 500 words. From there, participants are asked to join in person or via livestream to watch “as a robotic arm deposits grains of sand onto a black surface to recreate the image.” Once the portrait is completed, gravity will gradually erase the image and it will be archived to the website.

Archive from acrackinthehourglass.net/

The next portrait will then be created by recycling the same sand, “forming a limitless number of memorials and emphasizing the collective nature of the pandemic as well as its ongoing impact.”

The exhibition’s title not only relates to the use of hourglass sand but “our broken sense of time during the pandemic.”

Printed photographs and videos of the portraits will be put on display throughout the exhibit’s duration.

“We’re honored to be the first site of this important project that we hope will create much-needed space for catharsis as well as dialogue around how to memorialize the ongoing impact of COVID-19 around the world,” said Drew Sawyer, Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography, Brooklyn Museum.

The exhibit will be on display through June 26, 2022.

To learn more, see here.

Looking for more at the Brooklyn Museum? Check out their current dazzling Dior exhibit!