Lorna Simpson

Easy to Remember
Jan 17, 2016–Apr 24, 2016
Lorna Simpson, Easy to Remember (still image of film), 2001. 16 mm film, transferred to DVD with sound, 2 minutes, 35 seconds.

Lorna Simpson, Easy to Remember (still image of film), 2001. 16 mm film, transferred to DVD with sound, 2 minutes, 35 seconds. Funds from the Norton Family Foundation, Cathey and Richard Finlon and department acquisition funds, 2002.89. © Lorna Simpson.

Closed: January 17, 2016–Apr 24, 2016
Hamilton Building - Level 4

Lorna Simpson transforms a catchy tune into a commentary on race through acts of erasure. Fifteen black singers, shown only as disembodied mouths, separately hum the song “It’s Easy to Remember (And So Hard to Forget),” originally sung by Bing Crosby in the 1935 film Mississippi. The melody is stripped of its lyrics in the same way that black voices are silenced by racism. Simpson uses only the first part of the title, intentionally dropping the second phrase, perhaps as a disquieting reminder that the effects of racism likewise are hard to forget.