Fiona Lake - BA(Hons) Fine Art, part time year 3
It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, good or evil, we’re all fundamentally the same and we will all be forgotten – that’s the truly radical nature of transience,
Christian Boltanski, 2006
The title, Someone’s Breath, refers to the universal as opposed to the individual. It is anonymous and could therefore belong to anyone, but it is definitely the breath of someone’s son or someone’s daughter. It does not have a monetary value based on celebrity, (as with Manzoni’s breath and excrement), but it has been given value through its preservation, temporal suspension and gallery presentation because ultimately it is, or will be, someone’s last remaining breath after death.
Using a paper bag to collect breath draws on the tradition of emotional minimalism. I hope that many viewers will link it with blowing into bags and popping them, as children. The bag then becomes a memory trigger for childhood and a life lived. Life and death, presence and absence are inexorably linked. The bag filled with breath also represents the act of breathing; of living.
The resin casing enables the indefinite preservation, or mummification, of the breath to take place. The layering effect of the resin is mimetic of ancient rock formations and enhances the visual sense of timelessness.