Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)

Our 2021 project took the words spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene in the garden after she discovers his empty tomb — noli me tangere (“touch me not”) — as a provocation for reflection on the COVID-19 pandemic, and on other pandemics, viral and social, that engulf us.

We return in Fall 2022 to explore a reversal of the injunction against touch. Mindful still of the social, political, and environmental crises that we face, we now re-envision this imperative as an invitation to and desire for contact: Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not).

Images: Noli Me Tangere, Graham Sutherland. With thanks to the Chapter of Chichester Cathedral.
Learn more about this painting in a short documentary on YouTube. 

We ask how we might consider noli me tangere in this moment—this long moment still being shaped by the pandemic.