Maurizio Cattelan Has Enlisted Iggy Pop, Jordan Wolfson, and Other Artists to Read Aloud Bedtime Stories—and It’s the Stuff of Nightmares

Artists will recite excerpts from their most treasured texts.

Iggy Pop kicks off
Iggy Pop kicks off "Bedtime Stories" series with a short story about a beloved dog. Image by Maurizio Cattelan, courtesy of the New Museum.

How would you like to have the dulcet voice of David Byrne recite poetry to you? Or hear Iggy Pop read a love letter to a dog? Or listen to an indictment of the presidency in the form of a limerick by Marilyn Minter? Well, now that can all become a reality, thanks to a new project from the artist and raconteur Maurizio Cattelan.

Cattelan’s new audio series “Bedtime Stories,” concocted in collaboration with the New Museum, launched today and will feature contemporary artists reading selections from their most treasured texts of choice, debuting daily through the end of June.

Don’t expect to hear any lullabies here though. Rashid Johnson will recite Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka, Thomas Hirschhorn has chosen a passage from philosopher Simone Weil’s Gravity and Grace, and David Byrne will read from the 1964 psychiatric case study The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, in which author Milton Rokeach expounds on his experiment on three paranoid schizophrenic patients at Ypsilanti State Hospital. Other contributors include Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Jordan Wolfson, and Tacita Dean.

Maurizio Cattelan's Bedtime Stories project for the New Museum launches May 14.

Maurizio Cattelan’s Bedtime Stories project for the New Museum launches May 14.

It’s not all heavy though, the debut recording (available on the New Museum’s website and social channels) is a delightful sonic sound bite: the disembodied voice of Iggy Pop, one of the godfather’s of punk, reminiscing about a beloved dog. It is a real treat.

“You could say all of my work is about the power of images and their seductiveness and their complexities” Cattelan told the New York Times. “But sometimes it’s worth showing less and listening more.”


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