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“Never die before is it?”

That’s what my mother and other older rel­a­tives used to say to me, my sib­lings and other cousins who had been naughty.

That used to puz­zle me a bit. Not too much, because I was more con­cerned with the imme­di­ate pain asso­ci­ated with a slap or a ses­sion with the rat­tan cane. A cou­ple of fool­hardy times, I had spo­ken back with the obvi­ous retort, “No, never die before”.

The cane com­ing down on my legs made a swish­ing sound that, if you lis­tened care­fully, was say­ing with a lisp, “you will now, shhhtupid”.

This is my blog, and there­fore that anec­dote is some­how asso­ci­ated with the fol­low­ing story about a Ger­man artist who is plan­ning to dis­play a dying per­son and call it art.

He wants some­one whose dying hours will be spent in an art gallery with the pub­lic admir­ing the way the light plays on the flesh of a per­son gasp­ing for the last breath.

I’m won­der­ing how he’s going to audi­tion suit­able can­di­dates. The inter­view might go some­thing like, “Have you died before? No? So what makes you think you’re a suit­able can­di­date? Oh, you’re dying, is it? Well, buster, I have news for you! We’re all dying, punk! Take a number!”

Maybe I’m a plebian, but I really don’t see how dis­play­ing a dying man “restores grace” in death, or how dis­play­ing a starv­ing dog or blood from self-induced abor­tions is art.

I had a really bad bout of food poi­son­ing today, and con­tem­plated call­ing my ‘instal­la­tion’ the ‘three flush purge’, but thought bet­ter of it. It’s just not art.

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  • Lin­coln

    That’s pretty sick man.

  • Lin­coln

    That’s pretty sick man.

  • skip­petty

    hi miyagi-san! this has been done by sin­ga­pore­ans already… Sin­ga­pore Hos­pice put a dying man in front of cam­era and broad­cast weekly episodes of his jour­ney towards death; shot by Roys­ton Tan — google it, i’m sure it’s still online somewhere…

  • skip­petty

    hi miyagi-san! this has been done by sin­ga­pore­ans already… Sin­ga­pore Hos­pice put a dying man in front of cam­era and broad­cast weekly episodes of his jour­ney towards death; shot by Roys­ton Tan — google it, i’m sure it’s still online somewhere…

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Skip­pety! How is Cape Town? Or is it Dur­ban? OK, I go google it. OK found it, together with your comment.

    Link

    But the last two episodes seem to have been removed.

    Still, a bit dif­fer­ent lah — this Ger­man­ian dude wants to put a dying man in an art gallery ok?

    Too much, man!

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Skip­pety! How is Cape Town? Or is it Dur­ban? OK, I go google it. OK found it, together with your comment.

    Link

    But the last two episodes seem to have been removed.

    Still, a bit dif­fer­ent lah — this Ger­man­ian dude wants to put a dying man in an art gallery ok?

    Too much, man!

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