Elizabeth Alexander’s “and you did not even know to be sorry”

February 7, 2023

Montserrat Sculpture Program Coordinator Elizabeth Alexander has a site-specific installation up at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, North Carolina. The show, and you did not even know enough to be sorry, takes its title from the Mary Oliver poem “From the Book of Time.”

“This work presents the illusion of a beautiful disaster of a cast paper tree crashing through a wallpapered wall, bringing drywall, furniture, and lighting fixtures down with it–the aftermath of some catastrophic weather event. ‘and you did not even know enough to be sorry’ regards our fleeting sense of safety and loss within these ‘unprecedented times.’ This scene of floral damask wallpaper and paper furniture is made to be a tragic spectacle through cast  storm debris and deliberate deconstruction. Months painting dead flowers and staging this domestic catastrophe breathes a timely metaphor into my current life experience. As I made this work, a family matriarch succumbed to COPD after a lifetime of smoking, and it made me wonder how long before our own creature comforts sneak up on us in such a way.”

You can continue to follow Alexander’s work on her website.