Monday, February 22, 2016

Ophelia, or In Death, Let Me Have My Way

I came across this newspaper advert for a Japanese publishing company  by chance this morning, and couldn't stop thinking about it all day. It's a very obvious photographic homage to Millais' creation (aka "the painting-that's-always-away-on-tour-when-I-visit-the-Tate"), with a few twists.  In place of the young maiden driven to madness via heartbreak, a mature woman is floating, with an ethereal, dreaming expression. Instead of a robin redbreast, a bluebird is perched on a branch.  The woman seems to be floating on a cape lined with crimson. The text of the ad says "At least, in death, let me do what I please". The smaller print says, "All people die, but oh, how the technology to grant longer life keep evolving, making it really difficult for us to do so.  Instead of avoiding death or stressing over dying. I simply want to let go of each and every greed, and prepare for my finale. When people die, they become space dust. At the very least, I'd like to be dust that sparkles beautifully. That is my final greed."  The model is actress Kirin Kiki, who has been openly battling cancer.