The Andy Warhol Museum, in collaboration with EarthCam, launched a live feed of Andy Warhol’s tombstone earlier this week. Available for worldwide viewing 24/7, the project is called “Figment”.
The title refers to Warhol’s written musings:
“I never understood why when you died, you didn’t just vanish, and everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn’t be there. I always thought I’d like my own tombstone to be blank. No epitaph and no name.
Well, actually, I’d like it to say “figment”.
The Warhol Museum invites us to “join the conversation”, but I’d rather just spill my monologue.
Gravesites have been much on my mind this week. My father’s funeral brought me to a cemetery in Tennessee where many of my ancestors are buried, descendants of those who walked there from Jamestown, VA in the 1600’s. That’s right. They walked, about 600 miles across the Appalachian Mountains with one mule and no webcam.
I’ve read a few articles on the Warhol grave cam, and everyone seems to think that Andy would have loved this project. That’s a problem with being dead; people can say, “He or she would have LOVED this!” and you’re not there to stand up and say, “I hate it, you morons!”
Yes, I understand the references to Andy as the supreme voyeur, the inventor of the still film subject. But really, why not just do what Andy asked for? Carve the word “Figment” and get over yourselves.
The practical nature of my ancestors must have had an impact on me this week. If the project brings more attention to the Warhol Museum, good.
Figment: n. Something feigned or imagined; an invention; a fiction.
n. In metaphysics, the opposite of a real thing.
Look all you want at his grave – neither Andy nor his art are there. We visit graves to reflect on the life of the deceased, but end up reflecting on our own lives.