Saturday, 2 July 2011

Into That Good Night

A discussion on ageing, dying and death involving artists, philosophers, clinicians and other end of life professionals. 

I was given a ticket from a friend who couldn't make it to attend this day of talks. 

Blue skies and calls to meet on the beach...sitting in a darkened room all day talking about death didn't seem as tempting. 

The sunshine didn't matter- the day was fascinating. 

Time creates a wall of safety from the frightening existential questions around death.  

Human life is purposeful. We live with a "future". This sense of being futural in turn makes death come as an interruption. We cannot disentangle ourselves from this future. The temptation then is to make death meaningful but death is not an experience that I will ever in fact experience as an event in my life. 

Jordan Baseman, an American artist who gave a talk and was sat to my left at my table, showed the group his film 'July the Twelfth 1984'. He warned us before it was shown that it may upset some audience members as it depicts the real recorded audio from an electric chair death penalty.  The film was harrowing. The film used no moving images and only the transcript of the audio. The language used by those that carried out the killing, that was nothing but banal, was as deeply shocking as the act itself. 

Jordan Baseman

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Brighton, United Kingdom
Brighton University, BA Critical Fine Art Practice 2009-2012 University of Gloucestershire, Fine Art Foundation Diploma 2007-2008