Patrik Proško

The Last Piece IV – Pietà

Installation in mud, 200 x 70 x 30 cm

Czech Central Mountains

2016

The Last Piece IV – Pietà

I do not know where self-consciousness comes from and where it goes after death, and I would love to know if transience is absolute. When our loved ones depart to the nearest blasting furnace, a great part of ourselves burns with them and we become someone else. We are not what we used to be anymore. Everything changes, our whole inner world, its setting, priorities, rules, all we considered important changes its balance. Our self and its perception are deformed with the loss of one the most important pieces of our personality. It is an exceptional transformation in an extraordinary state of consciousness. Today, I see how much our personality is tied to our loved ones and how much it is formed by their presence. Even during times of their greatest suffering their existence is still present, and we remain whole. We are bound to a web of relationships which define our position in life in different time periods. From birth until death, I perceive all these phases of life only as certain stages of evolution which one could also call stages of adulthood. Could death also be just another stage in this evolution? A peak of adulthood? It is strange to say that death is the peak of life. Wrestling with death is not entirely possible, it can only be accepted and made peace with as something we cannot influence. That is a very important ability – to accept things that I cannot change as they are. But it cannot be done without experiencing the deep emotions that go along with these unchangeable things, and they are that which is the heaviest burden to bear. Most people would like to know what happens after death, if there is any life, consciousness, nothingness, or heaven and hell. But what happens tomorrow, in a week, or what awaits them in the future, and how will they die, most people do not want to know. A paradox. If it were to happen that someone would discover, describe, verify, and prove what is or is not after death, it would not do any good to anyone because no one could still do anything about it anyway – not counting religion in which it is possible to deserve one’s afterlife and to attain redemption. So, it would, in the end, be frustrating to know exactly what happens after we die without our being able to change it. Ignorance offers us more options along with faith and comfort – is that not better? The death of our closest ones changes also our surrounding world in a similar fashion that the birth of our children, our new closest ones, does, with the only difference being that in the first case the world changes into a ruthless and cruel place which does not forgive weakness and old age, and in the second it unites around us in joy and does everything to ensure that the new life lives free of any care in the world, surrounded by love, understanding, and gentleness. In the workings of the universe, I often see cyclic repetition. An inhale, an exhale, night and day, the beating of the heart, the rotation of the planets about their axes and their revolutions around their suns, when something ends just as necessarily as it begins. I could not resist doing this final piece from the series of The Last Pieces, however, if it truly is the last one, I cannot tell.

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