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screen printed on mat in black ink, surrounding photograph on all sides: WHAT / YOU SHOULDN’T DO / Don’t wish evil on others; the evilness returns to he / who asks and it may affect someone you really like. ∙ Don’t cut / your nails on the days of the week with an ‘r’ in the name; it weakens your / nature and your nervous system. ∙ Don’t curse people; the curse may fall on your / own children. ∙ Never eat rooster or chicken feet; they delay your life. ∙ You shouldn’t / eat any animal’s heart; it leaves you with an affliction and makes you insecure. ∙ Never get / out of bed with your left foot. ∙ Never light candles / for the souls inside your house but only for the angels or light / spirits. For Saints you may light candles in that there is no harm. / Never light an even number of candles always an odd number. / Put a glass of water next to the candle to establish equilibrium / and fulfill the four elements of fire, water, earth and air. ∙ Never eat / and look at the mirror. To break a mirror is a sign of problems / made by money, so when you break a mirror look for Saint Barbara – / who is the Patron Saint of money – and do charity work in her / name. ∙ Never sweep your house at night; it brings bad luck. ∙ To / spill coffee before noon is a sign of dislike; to spill coffee in / the afternoon is a sign of joy and laughter. ∙ When you have / coffee, tea, milk, or anything hot, or when you have a hot / body, never expose yourself to cold air, wind, or rain; it is not good for health and brings on / stupor (the paralysis that comes suddenly when there is a shock between cold and hot). / ∙ Never eat and go into the water, even to shower; it can give you congestion. / ∙ Never start a job on the day of the new moon; the job will not last. / If you want the job to finish soon, start on that day. ∙ When you / find a cross on the ground in your path, step on it / while saying: ‘All my enemies will / be dominated.’


Joseph Cohen, New York; gift to NGA, 2014.

Associated Names

Cohen, Joseph

Exhibition History

In Response to Place: Photographs from the Nature Conservancy's Last Great Places, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, September 15 – December 31, 2001; Houston Museum of Science, Houston, TX, February 1 – April 28, 2002; Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle, WA, June 29 – September 3, 2002; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, August – December 2002; Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN, May 10 – August 3, 2003; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL, January 24 – March 28, 2004; Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati, OH, May 8 – June 15, 2004; Contemporary Arts Center of Virginia, Virginia Beach, VA, July 31 – September 2004; Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI, May 13 – June 26, 2005

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