Memorial urn with Kazimir Malevich’s ashes. Designed and made by Nikolai Suetin. Nemchinovka, 1935.

Memorial urn with Kazimir Malevich’s ashes. Designed and made by Nikolai Suetin. Nemchinovka, 1935. © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

Kazimir Malevich’s coffin, May 1935.

Kazimir Malevich’s coffin, May 1935. © State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

On this point it is worth recalling that one of Malevich’s first last paintings was affixed to his coffin as a kind of hood ornament, as if in preparation for a burrowing journey through the underworld. Perhaps Parrino had seen documents of this artifact, which might well have prompted him to compare his own monochromes to both zombies and fenders. From an expanding distance, at a decelerating pace, these are the things that keep coming toward us. One is advised to avoid them, but for this very reason they sometimes still manage to hold us transfixed, prepared to trade in a full but short life for one that is longer because lived half-way, at once here and now and in historical time.

Jan Tumlir is a contributing editor to X-TRA. His book on the artist Matthew Brannon, Hyenas Are…, was recently published by Mousse.

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