Wanted: Dying People for Art

German artist Gregor Schneider is planning the ultimate (literally!) performance art piece: he plans to show a person dying as part of the exhibition!

“I want to display a person dying naturally in the piece or somebody who has just died,” he told The Art Newspaper. “My aim is to show the beauty of death.”

The artist says that Dr Roswitha Franziska Vandieken, who runs her own private clinic in Düsseldorf, has agreed to help find volunteers who are willing to die in public in the name of art. Dr Vandieken was unavailable for comment. “I am confident that we’ll find people to take part,” says Schneider.

Link - via Jasonspage


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One misunderstanding of ethics keeps popping up in any of the discussions about this. That is, that it can't be unethical because the subject agrees to it.

However, the subject of a scam or a ponzi scheme agrees to the terms of the scam, but that doesn't make said scam ethical.

I am not comparing Mr. Schneider to a scam artist, please! I am merely pointing out that the willing participation of the subject, in and of itself, does not confer ethical respectability to the project.
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Just wrong in so many ways.

Is it "art"? Here's the scale to test it on:

Will this be in a museum or even remembered in a thousand years' time?

500 years?

A century?

A decade?

6 months?

Tomorrow?
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Beautiful or not, it is definitely art.
However, to me it kind of comes off as an excuse for dealing with dying people...
Anyway, it is definitely not unethical because the it's based on the subject's choice.
I wouldn't want to browse a gallery of it though.
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I don't see what's so bad about it. I guess art is doomed to be the most objective thing in existence, but I didn't expect so much opposition.

If anything, this will have a big impact on some people. If Art is about invoking a feeling, memory, opinion, etc in a person or a group of people, than this is better than some mountainous landscape, right?

I don't think it's wrong or that you have to be a lunatic to want to put your death on display. Some people want to die alone at home, and some would want to do something like this. It's your death, I say do whatever the hell you want with it.
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