Last Words

Luis Camnitzer

Since the late 1960s, Luis Camnitzer has created works in a variety of media – including installation, printmaking, drawing, and photography – that expose our collective indifference to the violence governments inflict on individuals.

A pioneer of conceptual art, Camnitzer critiques current political realities with a perspective informed by his first-hand experience of dictatorships in Latin America.

Last Words was originally composed in the wake of New Jersey’s historic decision to abolish the death penalty and as the US Supreme Court considered the constitutionality of lethal injections.

The short, continuous text is a montage of select final statements by Death Row prisoners, collected from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s public records online and chosen because they include the word ‘love’.

Last Words synthesises those statements, all spoken and transcribed in the first-person, into one continuous, shared voice that registers somewhere between a tragic love letter and a resigned goodbye.

‘Mom have no fear. Mommy I will be home when I get there. I love you all…’

First exhibited at Alexander Gray Associates (New York) in 2008 and now published for the first time in March 2017 as an affordable artist’s book.

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