Never die before is it?

Dying to see Gregor Schneider's latest work? Don't worry - you could be in it - Times Online
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

“Never die before is it?”

That’s what my mother and other older relatives used to say to me, my siblings and other cousins who had been naughty.

That used to puzzle me a bit. Not too much, because I was more concerned with the immediate pain associated with a slap or a session with the rattan cane. A couple of foolhardy times, I had spoken back with the obvious retort, “No, never die before”.

The cane coming down on my legs made a swishing sound that, if you listened carefully, was saying with a lisp, “you will now, shhhtupid”.

This is my blog, and therefore that anecdote is somehow associated with the following story about a German artist who is planning to display a dying person and call it art.

He wants someone whose dying hours will be spent in an art gallery with the public admiring the way the light plays on the flesh of a person gasping for the last breath.

I’m wondering how he’s going to audition suitable candidates. The interview might go something like, “Have you died before? No? So what makes you think you’re a suitable candidate? Oh, you’re dying, is it? Well, buster, I have news for you! We’re all dying, punk! Take a number!”

Maybe I’m a plebian, but I really don’t see how displaying a dying man “restores grace” in death, or how displaying a starving dog or blood from self-induced abortions is art.

I had a really bad bout of food poisoning today, and contemplated calling my ‘installation’ the ‘three flush purge’, but thought better of it. It’s just not art.