Text and logo for the doors of the Coop Himmelblau Pavilion (logo by Rudo Menge, text by Sue-an van der Zijpp)

The exhibition IMMORTALITY SUITE is the most recent project by the artist Paul Perry (1956). Perry's work is a rather eclectic mix of art, science and philosophy, specifically exploring the space between culture and nature. As such Perry's works of art are investigations of the fundamental issues of life: identity and transformation.

At present, Perry is concerned with the topic of death, or rather, victory over death. The exhibition consists of three core works, which jointly form a 'suite'. Their intertwined relationship gives them a coherence allowing visitors to generate their own associations between the individual art works and the exhibition as a whole.

One of the most important works in the exhibition is Nuclear Garden. It is a work based upon a formalism: a Japanese Zen garden. Nuclear Garden is a formal variant of this formal idea. An essential but invisible component of the garden, which is comprised of a black steel frame construction containing a number of stones, is a small quantity of uranium ore contained within one of the stones. As an infinite source of energy, uranium, a naturally occurring radioactive substance, behaves as a miniature sun and an alternative Garden of Eden.

In an attempt to penetrate the realm of death, Perry underwent a near-death experience last year using the synthetic chemical ketamine. The work presented in the exhibition was the stage for a second attempt in the museum. A Thousand Deaths, Sortie 2, is the video report of this attempt.

The third work is called Afterlife or Repeat After Me. It is a kinetic installation with a piano and a suspended sculpture in which the skeleton of a porpoise has been incorporated. Endlessly and with great precision, the piano reproduces a piece of music that was previously performed live.

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Page created: 2/12/01
Last modified: 20/12/01