If I Die Young is an installation that addresses contemporary understandings of childhood. Similar to the artists’ previous collaborative project, Sister Unn’s (2011-2012), in which they set up an out-of-business flower shop on a commercial avenue in Forest Hills, Queens, If I Die Young explores issues of identity and loss.
The front gallery will consist of twelve black computer speakers spread along the walls, each playing the audio from a YouTube video in which a young girl (age four to sixteen) sings a cover version of the pop-country song “If I Die Young” by The Band Perry. Typically, the YouTube covers include a brief introduction by the girl, who announces her name and age and then proceeds to sing the song, which was written by lead vocalist Kimberly Perry from the point of view of a young girl who has died. Harmonized together in the gallery, the collection of voices takes on a different resonance.
In the rear gallery, the artists will display ten custom-made, twin-size blankets—each based on a watermarked photo taken from an Internet-based child modeling agency. The photos are replaced with the image’s average overall color, but retain the agency’s watermark logo, which is embroidered into the wool fabric.
Participating artists include: Bunny Rogers and Filip Olszewski