remember.inside back.cover

SSB Publishes Remembering Dying by Dean Rolston

When Dean Rolston, co-owner of 56 Bleecker Gallery, died in 1994 from AIDS, he left behind a memoir—Remembering Dying—a memento mori of the last two years of his life. No hagiography: In this short, powerful, beautifully written, and honest work Dean looks at his life and imminent death through the prism of contemporary culture and Zen Buddhism—contrasts that were apparent in his life. He was no saint, toggling between angel and devil, sublime and profane, like many of us in the late 80s. After his death, I sent letters to publishers soliciting their interest. Searching through his papers for this exhibition, I found the rejection letters that read as a sad commentary on the times: “Too many AIDS memoirs,” they say. Too many. To honor my dear friend, Some Serious Business will publish Remembering Dying. The book is a symbol of Dean’s sovereignty and agency in the face of death. “To suffer is not enough,” he says. We will not drown in forgetfulness. Through this exhibition, catalog, and memoir, we remember dying so that we can look back on this terrible period with grace, compassion, and new understanding.