Lounge seating, coffee table, books with notes, bookstand, and rug
12 × 9½ feet
“The roots of inequality, racism, and social marginalization are all grounded in our fear of death” (Sarah Chavez, “The Order of the Good Death”)
Sit down and take a moment; this space is designed to be a place of comfort while thinking, talking, and reading about mortality, loss, grief and remembrance. This “death lounge” features a circular glass-top black metal coffee table at its center. The circle is a recurring visual element in this thesis exhibition as a device not only to geometrically highlight specific objects, but also symbolic of cycles of life and death. On top of the table are some other photos of my mother and a display of books from my library on the topics.
Gone From My Sight was a book that was handed to me when my mother commenced palliative care, which features the poem of the same name that the author of the book attributes to writer Henry Van Dyke (1852–1933). This poem was what began my interest in the perspective of the dying, their self-identity, and what their inward journey could be like until their brain ceases to “work” and dies. I have been researching the neurological relationship of memory and identity, and considering what the journey may be like for me someday.
Special thanks to Professor Jessica Lieberman, PhD, (visual culture historian and course instructor for "Art of Dying" and "Reimag(in)ing Rochester" at Rochester institute of technology) for thesis consultation and recommendation of some of the books displayed.