It almost feels like an updated-for-quarantine version of the old “What book would you take with you to a desert island?” game: Artist Maurizio Cattelan has partnered with the New Museum to launch a new audio series called Bedtime Stories, in which David Byrne, Iggy Pop, Takashi Murakami, and more artists will read aloud from their all-time favorite texts.
Although the series title might imply cozy group-reading sessions, you might want to skip gathering your small children to listen, as Byrne’s contribution consists of a reading from the 1964 psychiatric case study The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, in which author Milton Rokeach expounds on his experiment on three paranoid schizophrenic patients at Ypsilanti State Hospital. Isn’t that just so...well, David Byrne of him?
Not to be outdone, Rashid Johnson will read Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note by Amiri Baraka, while Iggy Pop will tell the story of a beloved dog. (You can listen to that clip now on the New Museum’s website.) Tacita Dean, Abraham Cruzvillegas, and Andra Ursuta will also offer readings this week, with new installments available each day through the end of June.
While we’re all on lockdown, with solitary outdoor exercise as our only escape, an audio series spotlighting the bizarre inner lives of artists feels incredibly apropos. Picture it: You’re out for a run—mask on, avoiding other people, feeling tense—when suddenly, the dulcet tones of Jeff Koons reading from The Iliad blast through your headphones to soothe your troubled soul. Hey, it’s something, right?
Originally Appeared on Vogue