You are here

4 you are here sarah sparkes looking in and view inside plywood glass  leds infinity box-1

You are here, Sarah Sparkes, 2006. Coffin built to fit the artist, trestle legs, infinity box.

‘To live, by definition, is not something one learns. Not from oneself, it is not learned from life, taught by life. Only from the other and by death’ Jaques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning & the New International, 1994

‘For when you are put into the Vortex you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny little marker, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says “You are here.”’ Douglas Adams, The Restaurant At The End of the Universe, 1980

You are here consists of a coffin, built to fit the artist and set out on two trestle legs in the manner of ‘laying out’ for a wake or vigil. A small peep-hole in the foot of the coffin enables an individual viewer to glimpse a tunnel of lights disappearing into infinity inside the coffin’s interior. You are here could be seen as a metaphor for our attempt to comprehend what lies beyond the threshold of life; our confrontation with the infinite nothingness beyond transitory existence. We can only hypothesise about the nature of our ending – a journey we must make alone – there is no understanding, only speculation, of what might happen to the human personality beyond mortality. ‘Loss’ of loved ones from life brings us even closer to death for in grief we partly follow them into the abyss. You are here is in part an attempt to bring the viewer to the edge of this abyss and in so doing return them to the world of the living.