David Byrne and Iggy Pop participate in new audio project

David Byrne (L) and Iggy Pop (R) are participating in Maurizio Cattelan’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ series. (AFP pic)

The Italian conceptual artist has launched a new audio series, “Bedtime Stories,” whose first instalment was released on June 14 on the website and social media channels of the New Museum.

For “Bedtime Stories”, Maurizio Cattelan has invited numerous musicians and contemporary artists to read a selection from their favourite text of their choice, as a way of staying together during these days of isolation.

Contributors include David Byrne, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Jeff Koons, Camille Henrot, Raymond Pettibon and Maya Lin, with a new segment of “Bedtime Stories” posted each day through the end of June.

Some of them chose to read existing books from their personal libraries, while others decided to write material of their own.

In the debut instalment of “Bedtime Stories,” Iggy Pop shares his memories of his dog by reading a love letter he wrote for the deceased pet.

“The first time I saw you, standing there on the other side of the divided highway, smelling the meat coming out of the meat locker at the mini-mart, I knew you were the dog for me,” the Godfather of punk is heard saying in the recording.

The audio segments were captured in an unfiltered fashion by participating artists, who used their phones or laptops to record their unconventional bedtime stories in their respective homes or studios around the world.

Additional instalments of “Bedtime Stories” will find Rashid Johnson reciting an excerpt of “Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note” by Amiri Baraka, while David Byrne will read from “The Three Christs of Ypsilanti” by the social psychologist Milton Rokeach.

“I thought of this project really not as an artwork but simply as a way of being together with others in a moment of isolation,” Cattelan told the New York Times of his latest artistic endeavour, adding that “sometimes it’s worth showing less and listening more.”