Chris Orchard and Claire Perri
'Elegant… and Dying.'
“…death is the place of one’s irreplaceability. No one can die for me if ‘for me’ means instead of me, in my place.”
Jacques Derrida. The Gift of Death (2nd Ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008
Derrida speaks on the Gift of Death that no single creature may take the burden of death for you. That is to say no other being may offer its life so that yours may be saved eternally, they may offer their life and succumb to death in place of an instance of death (eg: taking a bullet for you). Effectively taking a single death in place of your own but this sacrifice affords you more time but does not release you from the inevitability of death itself. As we are singularly responsible for our own casualty we must come to terms with the implications of our own fragile and plainly illogical nature for ourselves. With the inevitability of death assured, how can we hope to deal with the lack of continuity that this seemingly futile existence lends us?
Psychiatrist Robert Lifton explores this notion by detailing several means by which one can live on beyond death listed as different immortalities. We have by associating ourselves with each others mortal lineage designed work by which we may create monument to our existence, and to each others continuation or survival. By indulging our desire for creative immortality we have defined a sort of meta-prosthetic existence by which we can aid each others immortal self. The very nature of collaborating to us has been the allowance to flirt with each others mortality, generating images and words that define each other (the biographical) whilst simultaneously trying to self-censor to retain the rights to our own immortal lineages (the autobiographical). The work ends up attesting to no singular individual, but to the memory of the collaborative party itself. It is another memory that we leave behind, that may yet outlive our own bodies.
Remember that you are mortal.