Screening a few chapters of the web series Revisiting Genesis and discussion in Death Café format
Revisiting Genesis takes the form of an artist web series in twelve episodes, written and directed by Oreet Ashery. The work brings together real life conversations with people who have life-limiting conditions, such as cancer and Cystic fibrosis, and the fictional account of Genesis, an artist who is slowly vanishing. Revisiting Genesis, both melancholic and humorous, follows two nurses named Jackie, who assist people actively preparing for death to create biographical slideshows. The slideshows are used as a narrative device for reflection on longevity, feminist reincarnations, personal and socio-political loss, and the emerging death industries such as those providing digital legacy and afterlife services; including digital wills, digital assets management, and AR activated gravestones and avatars. Revisiting Genesis was made in consultation with palliative care professionals and online death experts.
The performance by Oreet Ashery is based on the Death Café format, which is an open source non-expert space to discuss issues related to death. Death Café is a “social franchise.” It is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda or specific objectives. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counseling session. At a Death Café people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea, and discuss death. Death Cafés have spread quickly across Europe, North America, and Australasia. The model was developed by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid, and based on the ideas of Bernard Crettaz.
- Oreet Ashery
An interdisciplinary visual artist with an unorthodox, multi-layered, and eclectic practice spanning photography, moving image, mass-produced and unique artifacts, text, music, workshops and performance. Ashery’s work confronts ideological, social, and gender constructions within the fabric of personal and broader contemporary realities. Ashery’s recent large-scale projects include: Passing Through Metal, a sonic performance commissioned by LPS, Malmo, 2017; the web-series Revisiting Genesis, commissioned by Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University London, and supported by the Wellcome Trust, 2016; The World is Flooding, a Tate Modern Turbine Hall performance re-enactment of Mayakovsky’s play “Mystery Bouffe,” 2014; and Party for Freedom, a moving image album, concerts, and performances commissioned by Artangel, 2013.