If only one were not obliged to disappear in the end. If only one could practice how not to vanish forever. - Arakawa + Gins, Reversible Destiny/ We Have Decided Not to Die., 1997
Silverman’s installation, We Have Decided Not to Die, takes the model train set as its point of departure. Travel- ing in infinite loops, the train’s cargo comprises a range of mass-produced plastic figurines from Catholic women in prayer, to WWE wrestlers, to chimera like creatures from Spawn. Its litany of forms recites a convoluted matrix of history, sexuality, consumptive value and holiness in miniature. At the rear of the train is the quote from John 14:23 - “He who loves me follow me.”
Here, Silverman proceeds with her broader investigations of cyclical patterns as they manifest in both religion and capital. Loops of eternal return and recurrence — the material affinities of spiritual yearnings and secular manufacture. The disparate values implied by its plastic cargo converge under the rubric of mass production, acting as a beacon of contradictory reverence. We Have Decided Not to Die attends to the repetitions of history, questioning what critical mass might interrupt its rhythms; why we still follow its train.
Aviva Silverman (born 1986, New York) works with sculpture, performance, photography, and theater. Solo exhibitions and performances include: Protect Me from What I Am, Swiss Institute, New York (2019) and Twist- er at MoMA P.S.1 (2016). Group exhibitions include Greater New York, MoMA P.S.1, New York (2015); It Can Howl, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, Georgia (2016); and I Surrender Dear, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria (2016).