Worn Torn

Shiva Shirts Collection

Ready-Made, 2015

Jewish Law requires certain mourners to tear a visible garment in symbolic demonstration of grief. The garment, often a shirt, is then worn throughout the period of Shiva– the week of mourning that follows the funeral. Serving as both private meaning-maker and public marker of mourning status, Shiva Shirts are often discarded once the Shiva period is over. And yet, they retain liminality, both cherished and reviled as souvenirs of sorrow. In displaying the shirts worn by me, my family members and friends during recent loss of loved ones, I was to retain the ruptured sense of sacred in everyday materials and the beauty lingering in loss.