Posts Tagged 'naked as we came'

Naked As We Came

“She says wake up, it’s no use pretending
I’ll keep stealing, breathing her
Birds are leaving over autumn’s ending
One of us will die inside these arms

Eyes wide open
Naked as we came
One will spread our
Ashes round the yard

She says if I leave before you darling
Don’t you waste me in the ground
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
One of us will die inside these arms

Eyes wide open
Naked as we came
One will spread our
Ashes round the yard”

From “Naked As We Came” by Iron & Wine

I hope that you are not too offended by the above picture.  In truth, I don’t think the photo does justice to this piece by Ron Mueck.  I first saw this at the Saatchi Gallery in London back in 2003.  It’s entitled “Dead Dad” and is an incredibly life-like model of the artist’s father.  What the photo fails to capture is the fact that the model is only 102 cm long.  The attention to detail, to every little body hair is captivating.  I genuinely expected this little person to jump up from the display at any moment as if it had only been playing dead.

In Ron Mueck’s explanation of this piece, he wrote of how when he saw his dead Dad’s body he was instantly struck by how his Dad wasn’t there.  The body before his, tear stained, eyes was merely a shell.  His Dad had left and the soul and spirit had departed.

I’m proud of the fact that the company I work for sponsored Ron Mueck’s exhibition at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh back in 2006.  The figures on display caught the imagination of thousands of visitors.  The very fact that the scale was wrong (they are either huge or minute) threw people and made them confront aspects of the human condition.  

Art has the power to address the issues we consider taboo or don’t discuss in our everyday conversation.  It has the power to touch, inspire, provoke and shock.  It has the power to disarm.  The conversations I had at a private viewing one evening with clients’ of the firm were more genuine and scratched much deeper below the surface than many of the bland pleasantries that too often fill our, seemingly endless, numbered days. 

I really appreciate “Dead Dad”, although upon reading the plaque I could feel a lump in my throat and a sting in my eyes.  It scares me to think that I may have to face such a confrontation of my own one day.  It also makes me squirm to think that, if timings take their natural course, my daughter may one day have to do the same to me.  Maybe these little posts and musings on this blog will convey something of the thoughts I held, the priorities I had and the passions that drove me…



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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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