Call for Keepsakes

Someone died and now you have their things, or maybe just one thing. It might not even be valuable, an old spoon, a glove…but you can’t bring yourself to throw it out. Musician and artist Dudley Saunders is asking for your images of such relics to create a “social media cemetery.”

In his new performance piece IN THESE BOXES, Dudley Saunders takes 12 objects left behind by the dead and weaves each of them into a video hallucination of the missing life. As he sings their stories at the front of stage, the world of the vanished comes to life on the screen behind him.

The piece is inspired by his own AIDS-era history: “In the fall of 1991, my two ex-lovers died within two months of each other. But what made it worse was realizing that everyone who remembered us together was also dead. Their few objects were the only evidence that they had existed, and had meaning no-one else could understand: how can you explain why an old spoon is important?”

Most of us, especially those whose lives are inherently risky because of who they are or where they live, have had some version of this experience, so Dudley is inviting all NYC residents to participate in the creation of the Dixon Place performance by asking community members to take photos of the objects they have inherited and can’t let go, and then post them to Instagram with the hash-tag #InTheseBoxes or send them to directly to

These personal contributions will be incorporated into the performance at Dixon Place on Thursday June 5th, 2014 at 7:30 pm and will live in perpetuity online at, in what Dudley calls “a social media cemetery”. In these two ways, these emotional objects can become part of a living piece of art, rather than simply moldering alone in people’s closets.

Here’s a link to an article about the show on ArtBound and here’s the FB event.

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