To show mercy is to show compassion when it is possible to harm; it is a simple, human gesture, but during the AIDS crisis, it became a desperate plea—for medicine, for government assistance, for support, for understanding, for prevention.
A single illuminated rose represents a thousand lives lost to AIDS in the United States. Donald Moffett installed one hundred identical Mercys in the New Museum’s 1991 exhibition The Interrupted Life: one hundred thousand deaths, and the number kept growing. In visualizing loss, Mercy offers a way to comprehend death in numbers otherwise unfathomable.
From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)