Last journey

Duane Michals – I Build a Pyramid

Duane Michals, I Build a Pyramid, 1978, silver gelatin print, six parts, each 8 x 13 cm, private collection, © Duane Michals

Since the 1960s, Duane Michals has been assembling several photographs into chronological sequences. Often including text elements, his imaginative and sometimes fantastically staged image productions address time and cosmos, dream, spirituality, and death. 

Michals challenges the meaning of visible reality. As a humorous commentary on the great questions of life, the artist constructs his own, tiny, improvised last resting place in I build a Pyramid, within sight of the pharaohs’ tombs. Unfortunately, it cannot compete with the perfect, eternal monuments of the deceased rulers of Egypt.


Self-portrait asleep in the tomb of Mereruka at Sakkara