Thursday, April 24, 2008

Death as Art?

Ok, so I found this article today, and I'm really not sure what I think about it. I DO know that it leaves me with an eerie feeling. An artist in Germany, who is obsessed with death, is looking for a subject who is willing to die in front of a group of spectators. Basically death as art. This seems like a little too much to me. I'm just starting to be ok with the concept of the "Bodies" exhibit, so real death at an art gallery...I'm not really feeling it. What do you think?

10 comments:

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

Wow. My first reaction was" THIS IS SICK AND WRONG. So I read the article again. I still think its very bizarre. I can't imagine anyone wanting to die in front of an audience, or anyone wanting to watch a stranger die. I hope they don't allow it....its not "art" its death.

Helena said...

A couple of things come to mind...

First, the 'Bodies' exhibit bothers me for a number of reasons, not least of all being that the bodies themselves were those of Chinese prisoners. They did not volunteer to have their bodies given up for 'art' nor did their families. Because, in China, prisoners have no rights, the Chinese government felt it would be appropriate to sell their bodies for profit.

Second, the article you've linked reminds me a lot of this (via). But don't look at them if you're at all sensitive. Check out the 'via' link for a description first...

But it's all part of the human obsession with our own mortality, I think, and the different ways we cope with that.

bob_vinyl said...

John Lennon recording the dying heartbeat of his child as it died in Yoko's womb, but we all know what a rotten, self-absorbed person he was.

As far as this exhibit goes, if the person volunteers, who is to tell that person where they can die. If they want to do it publicly, it seems to me they should be allowed to. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

As far as it being art, shocking doesn't always equal art. There is a chance that it will actually challenge people to deal with their thoughts on death. More likely, it's just a publicity stunt. Even if it's art, that doesn't necessarily justify it. The next step is a public assisted suicide and after that a public murder perhaps. Is art justification for going down that road? Of course not.

Mike said...

If somebody was to commit suicide, that would be disturbing... this.. I don't know.

I think it would actually be a very strong reminder of our own mortality. There are many people who need such reminders. Especially teenagers!! :P

Alicia said...

I think it's okay. I think it's better than the starving dog "artpiece".

Public exectuions used to be common. People would turn out to watch those for entertainment. But this would definitely have a different vibe. It wouldn't be a place for people to show disrespect.

It would be sad. And people would get angry. And people would feel helpless. And I think that there would be a lot of love from the people who decided to watch.

I think it's art, the same way propping up an empty frame in front of a sunset is art. It's like, "Wow. Thanks, Captain Obvious."

Lina said...

Um... yeah gotta say that disturbs me. A lot.

Lauren said...

I read about this too. Just goes to show you how there will always be those who take things too far!

You've been tagged my dear :-)

Jessica said...

Barbara,
Yeah…I can see the fascination with death. But personally I don’t think I would want an audience for my death, and I know I wouldn’t want to watch a stranger die. I would feel too weird about it.

Helena,
Wow…I had forgotten about that aspect of the Bodies exhibit. That’s horrible! I looked at some of those pictures, but after reading about the subjects, I got too sad. I had to stop. It is interesting though. And you are definitely right humans are obsessed with their own mortality.

Bob,
Hmm, I didn’t know that about John Lennon. Interesting! I do agree that if a person chooses to die publicly than they should be allowed to do so. But I think the public should have plenty of warning, so they don’t stumble upon it unknowingly.

Mike,
Yeah…I guess when I first read this story my mind automatically thought of suicide. And, you’re right people do need reminders, but this may be a little harsh.

Alicia,
That dog thing had me crazy for weeks. :( I like your way of looking at things. You’re definitely helping me to see this in a different way. I guess this thing makes me feel uncomfortable because it is so different from the norm.

Lina,
It’s really uncomfortable and definitely a struggle for me to put into perspective.

Lauren,
Yeah…it is a bit much, and I’m also wondering what would be the reaction if this guy was in America. What would people have tosay? I have a feeling stuff like this is going to be popping up more often.

David Amulet said...

I'll be the outlier. This actually does not disturb me much.

With 6 billion+ people in the world, there's no shortage of crazy folks floating around. Many want to torture, rape, murder, or otherwise abuse other people--often innocents.

If one of these wackos instead chooses to kill himself as "art," fine. Better him or her than someone else.

Jessica said...

David,
:) I agree!