Frigida Mors

“Why don’t you let yourself die? B
“…I’m not unhappy enough…that was always my unhap,
unhappy but not unhappy enough”. A

Rough for Theatre 1. Samuel Beckett.

Traditionally, sticking ones head in the gas oven was the way to go.

The oven was the standard fitment just about every kitchen,

Gas was the fuel of choice as electric ovens, despite being invented in the late 19th century;

consumers had to wait until more efficient systems were developed for mass commercial use.

Modern gas ovens have a safety cut off installed

Which switches the supply off after a period of non-ignition.

Also a different type of gas was used,

“town” gas, this was made by heating up coal,

it contained about 10% carbon Monoxide,

this is what that killed you.

The type of gas used today is “natural gas”, which is a mixture of propane, butane and hydrogen.

It is not toxic,

but has no oxygen, so it would suffocate you.

To follow Samuel Beckett’s line of thought

About not being miserable enough to kill ones self, I thought I would make an interesting art

experiment to take this line of thought to an abstract level in terms of suicide.

So here is a video I made today.

It is called “frigida mors”.

The first version of the video contained a sound track designed to make myself feel more miserable,

It was a solo piece on the cello based on the worst song ever composed “Imagine” by John Lennon.

But it was too effective.

So the second version here, features a song by

The top 70’s rock and pop combo Roxy Music,

It is called “Virginia Plain”.

The cold production values are utilised and presented as a detached low volume radio

in the room as the soundtrack to this pathetic suicide attempt.

This particular rendition was performed and recorded in February this year by myself.

All the tracks on Roxy Music’s first album were covered, and are on YouTube ,

where thus far, the ten tracks have clocked up over 26 views.

Robert Garnham

23rd August, 2012. Woodbridge, Suffolk.