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Charles V's Dream

Comments on Wei Guangqing's "Suicide Plan about 'Oneness'" Author: Zeng Chunhua Nov,1988

A: Death, as the ultimate game of human being, removes one from all other games.  Death dilutes the last part of people's life. As a result, the living couldn't understand death and the dead couldn't understand the beauty of the funeral.

Since someone dies every second, why do we especially fear the last moment of our life?  The secret here it is: what is more horrible than death is the fear of death.

The advocacy for life is reasonable—unconsciously assuming the death as the premise.  The pursuit of happiness is not proportional to the efforts of pursuing happiness.  Happiness satisfies the pursuer in a false form.

Charles V had tasted death as a game.

To watch his own death and funeral before his death, Charles V directed a play about his own death.  He hid behind the grilles of the adytum, watching the drama of his death.  The emperor was about to faint as the sublime funeral appeared before his face.  In the end, his real funeral took place soon after the fake funeral.

No matter who refuses death, death still comes.  The brave Charles V lost his braveness before the funeral he directed.  Even the religious fanatics who dare to give their lives, if they face death alone and bare, they might not be so inclined to offer their lives.

People are fascinated by substances of life outside of death.  This is a human frailty.  The subject of human nature has never been fully expressed or understood.  Refusing to discuss the topic does not eliminate it.  

B: The dream of Charles V tangled Wei Guangqing.  He called himself a suicide.  He is fascinated with the art of "suicide".

Traditional art rejects the theme of suicide.  Even in the performance of suicide, its purpose is to emphasize the value of life through "suicide".  But Wei Guangqing exhibited his suicide art frankly and unabashedly.  

The specialist might smell the scents of Dada, Magical realism, Behaviorism, or Absurdism, but the true identity of the smell is ambiguous.

Wei Guangqing directed the more artistic suicide-performance than Charles V.  Using all of the means—from the text of Absurdism, director notes, the floor plan of the suicide place, the live-performance, and the photos—to expose the richness of suicide art.

As a result, he was within an inch of killed.

His words prove it.

Facing death, Hamlet is too timid.  Caesar is bolder in uttering the famous line:

"Et tu, Brute?

"Then fall, Caesar. (Dies.)"

November, 1988, Hubei Fine Arts College

Edited by Lin Sophia Ma, September 2007

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