How is death transformed throughout the various media of replication, I wondered as I stood in front of many dead people, casting their faces in plaster or alginate, then re-creating their lost faces in plaster, in a silicone negative, in a wax positive, in a bronze positive, in a final mounted and patinated, waxed form. How is death transformed? And does not the multitude of countenances reflect the multitude of lifestyles? When I look at these faces, I see innocent beauty, I see suffering and disease, I see grace and agility, I see discipline and wisdom as well as the absence of all of these. I see aspects of myself in all the ages and races, and I see myself wandering through the cycle of life in this centenarian collection.
Impossible to say why I cast it. Within the fraction of a second, I knew I had to do it, and I had to cast them in this way: 102 faces, from zero to 101, one of each year, cast in bronze and mounted a meter apart on separate pedestals. The faces of the death to be looked at every day as a reminder that we will be very sad when our last hour is approaching.
As Epictetus the Stoic said in his Enchirideon:
“Let death daily before your eyes: and you will never think of any thing mean nor will you desire any thing extravagantly.”