Artists Explore Death And Dying Across The City in Series of New Works

In a series of nine new and captivating works that expand the notion of mortality and tackle the taboos of peoples inevitable demise, Arts House invite audiences to dig deep into death, dying, grief and celebration in playful and surprising ways.

Throughout November and December, this series of works called Mere Mortals created by Australian and International Artists features theatre, live art, installations, music and movement, where audiences can take part in a vigil, talk cancer over dinner, understand the death industry with an ex-funeral director and check into an infirmary.

"Across museums, film - and even in our own state legal system's changes towards dying with dignity - death is a hot subject right now," said Arts House Artistic Director, Emily Sexton.

"Yet in an increasingly secular Australia, it remains a taboo and shocking event. Mere Mortals sees artists explore this topic from a range of angles through a series of informative and expansive works designed to illuminate the darkest times," said Sexton.

For an up-close-and-personal date with death, patrons can check themselves into The Infirmary, where performers from Triage Live Art Collective including Clinical Nurse Specialist Victoria Morgan play the role of caregiver.

Real-life experiences also offer a fascinating glimpse into a morbid, but lucrative, industry in The Director, where artist Lara Thoms teams up with charismatic ex-funeral director Scott Turnbull.

In Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! independent theatre legends David Woods and John Haynes combine humour and heartbreak to tell the tale of a geriatric love triangle.

Collaborating artists Sal Cooper and Kate Neal blend strings, piano, electronics, video and animation to create an almost dissociative disorder in their surreal production While You Sleep.

Supper Club returns with Dan Koop's The C-Word that discusses cancer over dinner with collaborators from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre; there will be a vigil and wake with death-literate artist, Peta Murray; and experience Daniel Jenatsch's multimedia installation about 'a mysterious illness' at the Melbourne airport that saw scores of people taken to hospital.

In December at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria's Melbourne Gardens, Punctum's Public Cooling House asks the big questions surrounding water future and turns them into an experience of serenity; and the visually evocative audio work, Bushland will connect participants to the biochemical processes after death - it's both visceral and meditative.

Macabre and mesmerising, serious and sidesplitting, Mere Mortals is a living exploration of the inevitable end - walk towards the light with Arts House to examine what it means to be a mere mortal.

Mere Morals - a series of works

Dates 7 Nov - 3 Dec 2018

Bookings artshouse.com.au or (03) 9322 3720

7 - 11 Nov MUSIC & PERFORMANCE While You Sleep: a fugue - Kate Neal & Sal Cooper

7 - 18 Nov LIVE ART The Infirmary - Triage Live Art Collective

8 - 25 Nov INSTALLATION A Mysterious Illness - Daniel Jenatsch

20 - 25 Nov THEATRE Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! - Ridiculusmus

21 Nov - 2 Dec PERFORMANCE The Director - Lara Thoms

15 - 17 Nov ESSAY & DISCUSSION vigil/wake - Peta Murray

29 Nov DINNER & DISCUSSION Supper Club: The C Word - Dan Koop

1 - 2 Dec AUDIO EXPERIENCE Bushland - French & Mottershead

1 - 3 Dec INSTALLATION Public Cooling House - Punctum

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