Parting Practice: Rituals for Endings and Failure
Parting practice is a series of encounters (one-on-one and group) that explore participants’ fears and experiences of death, dying, haunting, mourning and grief. The one-on-one sessions focus on embracing ourselves as future corpses along with discussion of concepts such as: the ocean as an infinite ending, the contemporary phenomenon of ghosting as a form of haunting, and creating rituals. Group workshops focus on cultivating skills for communal mourning, feeling other people’s heartbreak and embracing ugly crying amongst many other topics.
This work pays close attention to the current state of the country where political tensions, climate change, violence and disease are counterbalanced by the information age, where we have enough data to solve so many problems, but it often isn’t mobilized. Consensus around mortality itself is polarizing: opposing camps believe in an open embrace of death, and many others are trying to deny death through life extension science and therapies. Parting Practice aims to remind that fear and death are both fundamental to the human experience and exploring our relationship to our death is deeply enriching for the time we have left living.
Approximately 40 people have partipated between June, 2018 - present.
These performances have taken place in public at: Mountainview Cemetery in Oakland, California; Land’s End in San Francisco, California; E.M. Wolfmann General Interest Book Store in Oakland, California and at Adobe Books in San Francisco, California.
These works are rarely documented as the intended artwork is what happens between the people present. Below is documentation of two different sessions with participants who asked to be photographed.