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Untitled 2 (from Note to Self)

Mary Coble

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

In 2005, Mary Coble staged a twelve-hour endurance performance titled Note to Self, in which she had the first names of 438 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender victims of hate-crime murders tattooed over her entire body without ink. Vivid evidence of Coble’s harrowing artistic process appears in this photograph. As the fresh needle punctures imprinted names on her lower leg, the artist’s blood mingled with an older ink tattoo, a rainbow-hued chain of figures emblematic of a diverse community. This documentary photograph shows Coble’s body as a locus for reflection on both the physical nature of assaults inflicted on hate-crime victims and the reporting of their deaths. The artist’s preparatory research revealed that anti-gay words were carved into some of the victims’ skin. She also discovered that no centralized database exists for hatecrime statistics, since individual states are not required to report hate-crime deaths to the FBI or any other federal agency.
MEDIUM Inkjet print
DATES 2005
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 19 11/16 x 14 3/4 in. (50 x 37.5 cm) Image: 16 15/16 x 11 13/16 in. (43 x 30 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of the artist
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Mary Coble (American, born 1978). Untitled 2 (from Note to Self), 2005. Inkjet print, Sheet: 19 11/16 x 14 3/4 in. (50 x 37.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 2008.10. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Photograph courtesy of Conner Contemporary Art, CUR.2008.10.jpg)
EDITION Edition: 2/5
IMAGE overall, CUR.2008.10.jpg. Photograph courtesy of Conner Contemporary Art
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