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by Caroline Gaudriault

What is the nature of birth and death in this world?

It could be the excitement generated by an innovative programme in which contemporary Man, enthused by the notion of transhumanism, dreams of artificial birth, lives in a videocracy and yearns for a life enhanced by the prowess of his own inventions…

We look at the beauty of Leonardo da Vinci’s Virgin and Child but we dream of birth achieved remotely, within the parameters characterising our era, in response to our immediate desires, with an emphasis on practical details, convenience and speed, and, essentially, accessibility for all. The first stage of life has already been reinvented, but some ethical forms have yet to be dissolved by the forced evolution of mentalities.

Our experience of our journey here on Earth is becoming indirect. We separate ourselves from religious sentiment, either denying or radicalising it. We no longer believe in God, but we miss Him! So we make crosses out of televisions to replace a theological vision with a tele-logical one. We pile up screens to reassure ourselves about the noise generated by the world around us, to see “truths” that we do not call into question when they are delivered by the power and abundance of images, to live in a virtualised world that renders us schizophrenic.

This innovative programme exerts a huge degree of stimulation. Since we can no longer escape from a global, instant perception of the world; since there is nothing on this Earth that we don’t know; since everything has been photographed, filmed and recorded without leaving any blind spots, surprises now await Modern anthropologists on the highways of virtuality. When our perspective on things has been changed to this degree, other kinds of emotions, perceptions and feelings will have to be invented.

Caravaggio’s The Entombment could be a sort of accident, an accident of the kind that happens more and more frequently, a logical response to the underside of our technological creations. One the one hand, life is getting longer, on the other it can be cut down on a whim. This is the nature of the new balance.

We can’t help reinventing the wheel, nor can we help reinventing the Issenheim Altarpiece … Ineluctably, we are ushering in Man’s obsolescence.

Naître et Mourir Naître et Mourir   © Gérard Rancinan

Le Retable d'Issenheim Le Retable d’Issenheim   

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