Artist Lisa Ross Takes a Gravely Moving Photo

Lisa Ross' , 2008. Photo: Courtesy of the Artist and Bellwether, New York

Lisa Ross's shimmering image captures a pile of ornamented twigs and branches that appear to have landed rather elegantly, like a delicate game of pick-up sticks, in the desert. It's not, as you might think, a neat pile of leftovers from last year's Burning Man. It's actually an adorned burial mound of the Uyghur people from the Xinjiang area of western China, designed to venerate local saints and mystics (scrappy hippies: Do not disturb). The image is part of a group show of images of death and the culture surrounding it at Bellwether, New York, through August 8. —Emma Pearse