Every Ocean Hughes: One Big Bag
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater
One Big Bag, 2021
Film and installation; 40 minutes
February 17, 7–10 pm
February 18, 10:30 am–6 pm
February 19, 10:30 am–6 pm
February 20, 10:30 am–6 pm
Every Ocean Hughes’s (b. 1977) One Big Bag (2021) reckons with end-of-life care for the newly deceased and those who love them. At once useful, political, and poignant, a death doula (performed by Lindsay Rico) guides us through a mobile toolkit of everyday items used to clean and care for corpses. Instructive and forcefully delivered, the monologue reveals how cotton swabs, textiles, feminine hygiene products, medicines, and combs, among other objects, are repurposed to practical and often profound ends. In the immersive film installation, these objects are suspended at heights corresponding with their relationship and use to the body. Together, the projected film and everyday items convey the complex realities and communal possibilities of caring for the dead while highlighting important debates around end-of-life practices, including the high costs of funerals—a death industry that curtails individual agency—and inequalities in medical care.
The Susan and John Hess Family Theater is equipped with an induction loop and infrared assistive listening system. Accessible seating is available.
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