sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance
 

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

sruli recht’s personal experience of living with a chronic illness is very much at the core of the project ‘luxury of choice’, a collection of 19 objects for a ‘self-deliverance’ or a voluntary death. the artist believes that individuals avoid the topic of dying, yet culturally ‘we are infatuated with death, with films and stories of murder. on the other, we mourn the dead, memorialise, attend wakes and funerals. but there is this liminal space in between where the actual transition occurs. this we don’t talk about. we are so fascinated with death but so fearful of dying.

sruli-recht-collection-luxury-of-choice-objects-self-deliverance-02-25-20-designboom

a simple tiwst of fate

 

 

sruli recht addresses the topic through a series of fully functional objects, although not an attempt to glamorize or promote taking one’s own life, the artists encourages viewers to consider self-deliverance as a worthy act. recht admits ‘I know this is and will be difficult for me and for the viewer.’ this may be the first time viewers look at the ceremonial aspect of the transition. it is something recht explored deeply and attempted to understand the existing alternatives. 

sruli-recht-collection-luxury-of-choice-objects-self-deliverance-02-25-20-designboom

blade walker, by a thousand cuts

 

 

growing up with cystic fibrosis meant there was a conversation in my family which normalized the idea that death would come harder, more recognizable, and most likely sooner than for everyone else. they made it clear: death would arrive wearing a familiar face. I had no choice but to acknowledge that, and, perhaps due to this, death has never been such an untouchable topic,’ the artist says. 

sruli-recht-collection-luxury-of-choice-objects-self-deliverance-02-25-20-designboom

with baited breath, nil by mouth

 

 

equally essential to the project was recht’s research into euthanasia – the act of deliberately ending a person’s life to relieve pain and suffering. his research revealed the cases when the process went disastrously wrong, ‘with ineffective objects and tragic failures,‘ and brought up the question about the ritual for the transition. ‘I kept thinking about the lack of ceremony to a lot of euthanasia stories – and about a culture where it isn’t a taboo; it isn’t frowned upon, it is just seen as the time,’ says recht, emphasizing that ‘the luxury to choose when and how is one of the most difficult things about this conversation. it is still such a taboo that we don’t even allow room for much debate. we are so fascinated with death but so fearful of dying.’ 

sruli-recht-collection-luxury-of-choice-objects-self-deliverance-02-25-20-designboom

a last taste of freedom, the acquired taste, and to my relfection

 

 

to address the topic by designing a series of fully functional objects was a difficult but crucial decision. a safer option of birthing these objects into some riveting apocalyptic story felt like side-stepping the real conversation, removing much of the weight and the impact, recht explains. ‘it would have presented a false reality like a film, or a character in a book spouting terrible thoughts, but with the author smartly abdicating responsibility for the ideas. this needed to come from me, as near-to-complete vision as possible, and not shifting the responsibility to it being just a pointed but ultimately harmless story. i had to be accountable for the idea, good reactions or bad.’ 

sruli-recht-collection-luxury-of-choice-objects-self-deliverance-02-25-20-designboom

who by fire

 

 

this, too, was amplified by sruli recht’s personal history,growing up in the orthodox jewish community has put heavy emphasis on rituals, holy objects, forms with authority, and the power of unspoken holy words.’ the uncanny power of objects and words has shown itself in recht’s more recent experience: losing a friend to death by hanging, which forever changed the meaning of an everyday item for the artist. 

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

silent night, irreversible

 

 

elaborately designed and accompanied by bare descriptions of their function, the objects appear aesthetic and intricate.when sruli approached me with this idea, i felt an immediate connection to the project,‘ says photographer benedict redgrove. ‘as with everything sruli does, there is a deep belief behind it. he is a polymath. his approach and designs are unique, and his execution of the objects is always to a level most people only dream of. sruli and I both have the experience of friends’ deaths; he has a chronic illness, I have a certain way of thinking and reacting to situations that doesn’t always fit in with social norms. I could collaborate with him and put my energy into producing something that would be worthwhile and open a debate that needs to be had. this project is here to stir up the conversation. a conversation that is fully open, with no areas you can’t talk about.’

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

as the cold washes over me

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

in acrid abeyance, a single strip of blinding light, this sinking feeling

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

a conservation of mass

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

in the palm of your hand

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance

wrapped up in it

sruli recht's collection 'luxury of choice' presents objects designed for self-deliverance
in the heat of the moment

 

 

project info:

 

project name: luxury of choice

artist: sruli recht

photography: benedict redgrove

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: cristina gomez | designboom

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