The Gesamtkunstwerk Project Space PresentsLonging: A Selection
of Premortem Regrets
The Mind's Last Gasp
by: John Hood
What do we see when our minds close for the very last time? Is it a spark, is it a flash, is it the boldest and most beautiful of all bright light? The notion has been puzzling us for ages. And though the occasional soul has claimed to have glimpsed the abyss, what we witness when the final curtain does come down will forever remain a mystery.
On my first show as a curator at the Gesamtkumstrwerk Projektraum, where five artist created works that interpret the clarity we all gain when death is imminent and particularly, the regrets that it must carry. It was then the first time I created this type of work.
That age old mystery is undoubtedly what’s driven artist/curator Alejandro Franco to assemble “Longing: A Selection of Premortem Regrets”. The debut exhibition in the Gesamtkunstwerk Project Space, “Longing” finds five young visualists not just reaching for the proverbial end of the line, but bringing back what they find, so that all the world can see the unseeable for themselves.
And also so that the fistful of visualists can in turn see what the world looks like when it’s looking at the end. Commissioned by Franco to create one work which specifically fits the singular theme, each of the artists -- Santiago Betancur, Rafael Espitia, Fiorella Podesta and Dario, as well as Franco himself -- were tasked with capturing what they saw as the mind’s last vision, and how what they saw was interpreted by the viewer. In other words, each piece has within it a keen theoretical eye to keep on any given beholder.
“The idea comes from a news story I’d read regarding a New York nurse who cared for the terminally ill,” explains Franco. “All of her patients, as they reached the end, reported achieving some kind of absolute clarity. It was that final moment, when all the world’s concerns no longer have any effect, which I wanted to capture with ‘Longing.’”Viewed one by one, the five works do indeed provide a clear case of clarity; taken together however, the exhibition is akin to beholdng absolute clarity in the palm of one’s hand.