Collection Artwork
2009 7 8 pr w01
2009 7 8 pr w02
2009 7 8 pr w01
2009 7 8 pr w02
Donald Moffett (born San Antonio, Texas, 1955)
translucent photograph mounted on light box
light box size: 13 5/8 x 13 5/8 x 3 7/8 in.
Gift of the Hort Family Collection
from an edition of 100

Installation views

2009 7 8 pr i01
2009 7 8 pr i02

Object Label

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)

Ongoing Research

Research on our collection is ongoing. If you have resources you’d like to share, please contact Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

Learn more

Give a damn.
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