Here Lies is a conceptual art project by Kieran Crowder. Its central concern is a new kind of politics: specifically a form of social life strong enough to meet the future's inevitable challenge. The failure of contemporary political science to get past the bankrupt triad of liberal democracy and its offspring communism and fascism, is self-evident - so it is down to art to model the relations which might characterise this so-far-uncharted human space.
Everything about Kieran's project - its form, its content, even the modes of its presentation so far - reflects this singular concern. Here Lies' research has already brought together such diverse elements as text, performance, painting, music and behavioural rules. Going forward publicly for the first time, Here Lies now essays an unheralded form of audience involvement - a form that manifests in embryo the transformed social relations proposed by the artist.
For Kieran's work is conceived as political theology made concrete, a material response to the issues out of which inevitably it has arisen. Deeply aware of what is at stake here for bare life, Here Lies thinks through the implications of political renewal, and qua project, tries to embody something of the insight it has itself produced.
This website showcases the paintings that are close to the heart of the artist's work. These canvases are distinguished by the matter-of-fact inclusion, in the fabric of the paint itself, of ash and other furnace waste acquired by the artist from a crematorium he worked at as a teenager in the 1970s. In 2017, after much reflection, Kieran elected to make Here Lies public with a call for new contributors - 'anyone with ashes to spare for whatever reason' ran the first ad - to help things along.
Says the artist:
"Here Lies is - or speaks to being as - a test of sorts, not merely an aesthetic experiment. There is a sense of more going on than we quite have the words for, and this is surely the case.
"For Here Lies is not just a political theology but is expressly and unprecedentedly a bid to give one actual social and material form. New meanings can emerge from engagement with this process, and therefore the outline of new relations.
"So if Here Lies comes across as a test or challenge of any kind, it is as political vision or prophecy - that maybe what is being asked of us is to join in bringing it about."
If you are interested in contributing to Kieran's work, please CLICK HERE