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Baseman, Jordan, 2013, Art or design object, deadness

Abstract or Description:

‘deadness’ was commissioned by Matt’s Gallery, London and funded by a grant awarded to Baseman from the Welcome Trust. Exhibited as part of a larger solo show also titled 'Deadness', the work explores the historical, cultural and sociological relationship between photographic portraiture and embalming, through a recorded interview with Dr. John Troyer, Director of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. Combined with this audio recording, the installation consists of five 35mm slide projectors, displaying 231 images collected by Baseman ranging from snap shots to more formal portraits of individuals in their coffins from the Victorian era to present times.

As a development from Baseman’s research for 'deadness', Baseman was commissioned by Fabrica, Brighton to create the site-specific film 'A Cold Hand on a Cold Day' (2013) as well as exhibit two previously unseen Wellcome Trust funded films 'How to Manage Stillness' (2013) and 'Old Blood' (2013). 'A Cold Hand on a Cold Day' features hand-processed colour 16mm time-lapse images of deeply dark skies paired with an interview with a local Brighton embalmer. The other two films, contextualised by Baseman's interviews with embalmer Geoff Taylor (‘Old Blood’), and the sociologist Dr. Kate Woodthorpe (‘How to Manage Stillness’), feature accounts of contemporary embalming, the preparation of bodies for burial on land and at sea, and cremation.

Baseman's research into deadness recognises and values original personal accounts of performing restorative and cosmetic processes on the deceased alongside academic and sociological ideas regarding contemporary embalming practices, Baseman explores how artworks that engage with death contribute to knowledge and understanding of the human condition.

Baseman was in conversation with Dr John Troyer at Matt's Gallery (July 2013). The exhibition 'Deadness' at Matt's Gallery was reviewed in the London Evening Standard, Timeout, Art in America, The Guardian and Art Monthly (all 2013).

Contributors:
ContributionNameRCA ID
AuthorBaseman, Jordan0510031117458
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
School or Centre: School of Fine Art
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2013 15:59
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2014 16:51
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1567

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