Iggy Pop, David Byrne, and Other Celebrities Are Reading Bedtime Stories for Adults

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Bedtime stories are fantastic for getting kids to sleep, but in times like this, grown-ups could do with calming bedtime stories, as well. In response to this unfulfilled need, the New York-based New Museum is hosting a new digital exhibition called “Bedtime Stories.” The goal of the project, created by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan (perhaps best known for his 18 karat gold sculpture of a toilet), is to create “a relaxing feeling of togetherness” and to help people through the current pandemic. 

To do this, Cattelan has invited a range of well known cultural celebrities to read short stories, poems, or chapters from a book they like. The recordings are all homemade by the artists, and most seem to have been made on a phone or laptop, which gives the stories a more intimate and unpolished feel. 

Cattelan’s idea behind Bedtime Stories, the New Museum explains on their site, is to invite “friends and other artists and performers he admires to keep us company.” The New Museum also goes on to explain that “Cattelan imagined ‘Bedtime Stories’ as a way of staying together during these days of isolation.”

The series started with a story by Iggy Pop on how he fell in love with a stray dog. Since then, the project has also featured the American visual artist Joan Jonas and the Talking Heads star David Byrne. The latter reads a slightly less accessible passage from Milton Rokeach’s psychiatric study, “Three Christs of Ypsilanti.”

Still running, a new bedtime story reading will be released on the  New Museum website as well as on their Instagram channel through the end of June.