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Sigmar Polke, Hoehere Wesen Befehlen (Higher Beings Commanded), 1968, Leo Koenig Inc.
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Sigmar Polke

by Elisabeth Kley

Lackadaisically printed in precious gelatin silver on roughly cut yellowing paper, the oversized photo shows two decomposing cadavers leaning against a catacomb wall. One has a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and the other stares mischievously out of the corner of his eye socket, as if he is sharing a joke. These fellows have been dead for ages, yet they could easily be revelers in carnival skull masks smoking outside a bar.