Friday, February 18, 2011

Funeral Party for the Living

Funeral Party for the Living took place on January 1, 2011. It is one of several ritual projects I utilize in my art practice as an ongoing exercise to explore healing and death rituals. The audience participates in actions encouraging realizations of the brevity of life and aiding in connecting to the present.

Front of the 14 Pews church with mourning wreaths on the doors.

View from behind the desk of the "Eulogy Writing Deaconesses." During the visitation before the funeral, a eulogy writing service was available for attendees needing assistance or last minute advice.

The fashionably mournful.

A "Eulogy for Art" was read.

A brass band lead by Nick Cooper.

The back yard funeral pyre where participants said good-bye to such things as addictions, jobs, bras, lovers, and hemeroids, among other things.

The funeral food potluck included foods such as ambrosia salad, funeral pie, severed arm cake, cooper coins for the afterlife, and sweet funeral wine.

All images courtesy of 14 Pews.

Ice Staffordshire

These ice sculptures are modeled after Staffordshire ceramic dogs my mother collects. Seeing them in the impermanent material of ice reminds me of the fragility of her and the power of objects--whether as surrogates or collectibles.

This ice sculpture is dedicated to a Staffordshire Terrier, referred to as Scrappy, I helped a friend rescue. Scrappy seemed unusually aware, keen to people and situations. My friend kept the dog as his own. I longed for this dog or at least to know her condition and location. Neither the friend nor his father would tell me what happened to her...