A series of allegorical public works as part of a statewide art and civic initiative to allow death with dignity.
by Goda Rupeikaite & Jeff Sumerel, South Carolina multimedia artists
The live broadcast of a conceptual installation that reflects the futility of long-term assisted care, and sparks community dialogue about the need and want for new legal provisions that allow death with dignity.
A stirring, expressionistic scenario that slowly and literally dissolves during a non-stop 24 hour period made accessible to the public while being broadcast live. A catalyst for discussion about the cultural acceptance, and legal provision, to have the choice of a dignified death.
Production: props in the installation would consist of a nursing home bed and sparse accessories such as a side table, lamp, and perhaps the suggestion of a wall-mounted TV.
In the bed, representing a person, would be six large rectangle blocks of ice (2 for legs, 1 for torso, 2 for arms, 1 for upper body & head)
Embedded in each block there would be various items - not discernible at the start. An ambient soundtrack of a montage of TV audio clips (news, soap operas, games shows, weather report) would continuously play.
Brief Description: to envision this exhibit, it could perhaps be described very loosely as a reverse ice-sculpture demonstration.
The installation takes place over a continuous 24-hour period and can be adapted for various settings.
However, ideally, it would take place in an easily accessible spot for the public and needs an area no more than 8ft. x 8ft.
Execution: during the 24 hour period, the installation would be broadcast live using multiple cameras to highlight the various blocks of ice as they melt.
Gradually, it block of ice would reveal the items: an old photo in a picture frame, a hair brush, a dog-eared Bible, a wristwatch, several prescription bottles & pills.
The final stages of the melting ice would be timed to coincide with a community discussion led by local advocates and experts.
Rationale: social awareness - community dialogue - health education - cultural acceptance