Staying Alive 2013

Hand painted wooden Coffin with mechanical automaton clown which sits up when the box is opened and plays the chorus line audio sound of ‘Staying Alive’. Outlined in murano neon glass.
Unique – 280mm x 400mm

‘Though the fact of death detroys us, the idea of death can save us. In other words our awareness of death can throw a different perspective on life and incite us to rearrange our priorities.’ – Irvin.D.Yalom

Christian Furr says: ‘ I woke up one morning at 5AM with a Eureka moment. I had a vison of brightly coloured fairground painted coffin with the lid flung open and a a smiling ‘jack in the box’ sitting bolt upright inside. The coffin was edged in neon. It was something that couldn’t be ignored. To me it symbolized the beauty of Art being immortal and maybe deep down on a subconscious level it was autobiographical. This was an idea I had had that I couldnt ignore. It had to be materialized. Good Art is something that never dies. Isn’t all Art trying to bring something back to life or is the life in the Art itself? Great Art stays alive in future generations. A great idea re-generates. It stays alive’

Chris Bracey – whose background includes a love of fairground art – took the idea further and turned the coffin into an automaton like Joseph Merlin’s silver swan. On the risng of the clown we hear the Bee Gees ‘Staying Alive’ song.

Death brings insights. Mexico celebrates death in a joyous way. Fairgrounds remind us of death and joy. They are about extraordinary thrills and closeness of expiry. ‘Like all funerals we wanted this to be moving. A studio 54 sendoff. But death is rebirth’ In the future they can experience over and over again the movements of a world they thought they had lost. A mechanical marvel. Something pretending to be human about Art living forever and built by dreamers. A most unusual fusion of humanity and technology inspired by the Bee Gees.