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Helen Pynor, The End is a Distant Memory, 2016. Photo by Stephen King.

The End is a Distant Memory (2016)

Helen Pynor explores the 'unknowable' space between life and death in her investigations into cell-regeneration and near-death experiences. In The End is a Distant Memory, through a variety of media and approaches to 'reanimation', Pynor establishes the possibility of a sort of life within death.

In part of the gallery, Pynor presents the life-cycle of chickens raised for consumption. This includes a video made at a factory farm; large scale photos of chicken carcasses arranged to resemble lounging human forms; and time-lapse microscopy footage of living chicken fibroblast cells, extracted and tissue-cultured from meat purchased at a supermarket. In a dialogue with this work is a video of a single chicken (obtained from an abattoir), dropped from a great height onto a concrete floor, and a slow motion de-feathering process.

Alongside this stage of the project are new pieces which focus on human near-death experiences, taking Pynor's experiments with existence into another realm. These previously unseen elements of The End is a Distant Memory, which capture the idea of the uncanniness of the subject, were developed in collaboration with those who claim to have encountered near-death experience.

Supported by the Australian Government through the Australian Council for the Arts, its art funding and advisory body.