Magdalena Abakanowicz University of the Arts in Poznan
Faculty of Animation and Intermedia
Department of Intermedia
Intermedia Studio IV
Supervisor: PhD Daniel Koniusz
The phrase I invite you to leave has a double meaning. At the same time, it serves as a polite request to leave, which already creates uncertainty, as well as an invitation to a discussion on death, its need, law, and truth. The artist underwent a nephrectomy surgery in 2020. This prompted her to familiarize herself with the subject of death. Sacro Sarco is modeled on the existing Sarco capsule, a device used to perform euthanasia, which was the idea of Australian scientist Philip Nitschke. The capsule was created from a bathroom door. On the entrance there is an inscription “at ease” made of the author’s hair, inviting to the inside of the capsule. The slanting metal frame, on which the capsule is set, suspends the body between lying (at rest) and standing. The object was placed on artificial grass. It is closed on one side by a black floating balloon, and on the other by a terrazzo vase with a bunch of flowers. The sound of rain comes from inside the capsule. The artist seeks an answer to her personal question about death in the context of individual freedom.
E-mail from the artist to Ph.D. Philip Nitschke:
It is impossible to explain everything,
I will try to do it in points, then it is easiest to understand my process. I deliberately named my device Sacro (Sarco), the cross-out is the result of removing the religious context (religions oppose individual freedom, they work for the “common good”), so it refers to the pure meaning of the word: dedicated, full of sacrifice, self-denial – this is how one can describe a person who is willing to undergo voluntary euthanasia. I have created an object modeled after your device, though you will see that it is a subtle aesthetic reference. Constructed from doors, identical in almost every apartment during the communist era, whose premise was equality (death), which I recovered from local trash. The use of doors in my work is a result of observing the generational change in the family housing estate, they are a metaphor for the passing of the old order, in favour of the new.
1. “The meaning of a word is how it is used.”
Ludwig Wittgenstein On Certainty
to rest or to be buried?
euthanasia and suicide
wrongly used interchangeably
they have different connotations
euthanasia as a manifestation of individualism
suicide defined as selfish behavior; action in affect
2. ORGAN TRANSPLANTATION IN THE CONTEXT OF BRAIN DEATH
Artificial life support in organ harvesting for transplantation.
Criterion – presence of a center of consciousness – soul vs. body.
3. LAW AND FREEDOM
Law, which is supposed to take into account the freedom of the individual, sometimes acts against this freedom. Conflict sometimes arises between concepts (law and freedom) that are in an inseparable relationship, generating each other.
4. THE SYMBOLISM OF THE COLOR GREEN
In the context of nature it symbolizes life, birth – in the context of the human body it is a sign of danger existing in the body (I ignore the eye color).
A material used in Polish culture mainly for the production of tombstones. Obtained from a cemetery container which contains fragments of tombstones that have already been demolished. They have a character of trash and are treated by me as waste, but for some their use may be questionable. Terrazzo is becoming fashionable (especially in interior design) and what is interesting, it is no longer associated only with death, but is perceived as a beautiful, durable artificial stone.
6. THE SOUND OF RAIN
It deprives you of verbalized thoughts – it puts you in a meditative state.
The purpose of meditation practice is to prepare oneself during life for death.
“With understanding comes liberation.”
The Tibetan Book of the Dead
The content of the theoretical work is based on duality, ambiguity and (all) present contradictions. It is the result of my observations, experiences, or information that I have managed to acquire during my life. The choices I make form my own system, which I hope can be understood in light of the central theme – the right to voluntary euthanasia. A right defined by carefully chosen, rigid words can, through various interpretations, be understood in opposite ways. It all depends on the context in which things appear, everything (in life) relates to the meanings of words and the language games associated with them. My goal is not to moralize others, everyone has the right to decide for themselves and I expect the same from my resolutions.
Maria Furtacz bases her practice on the extraction of individual elements from reality, which she then puts back distorted, playing with their meaning. These actions result in suggestive objects and videos. Graduate of Intermedia in Poznań.