They keep you on the hook the whole way through, theyre your best friend and then you get a standardised Dear applicants email, she says. Wed been texting each other sparkle hearts all through the process.
Reality TV is the contemporary Colosseum, she says. Its where we go to watch people suffer, with no level of social consequence.
That show was at the Centre for Contemporary Photography in 2020, exploring the arduous audition process and exposing as much of it as she could legally get away with.
A scene from Remains to be Seen.Credit:Georgia Banks / David Meagher
After that, Banks was thinking about what drives people including herself to seek immortality on reality TV, on social media or, indeed, in art.
And somebody said to me, I guess your funeral is the reality TV show, she says.
Banks says her work has been about finding the edges of the possibility of the lived experience. To go hard, in other words.
So she has created an elaborate framework where her own real-life funeral is the prize. Anyone can enter, through the website remainstobeseen.info, and will go through an audition process that parallels and parodies the TV versions: invasive, personal questions that would usually be about life and loves but will now be about death and dying.
A scene from Remains to be Seen.Credit:Georgia Banks / David Meagher
They include, for example, how they think they will feel when one of their exes dies.
Applications are open from now and, says Banks, the winner will be announced on the day that I die, and they will get absolute, total, 100 per cent control over everything to do with the disposal of my body and my funeral.
Absolutely everything. The budget is Banks estate.
I could be liquefied or cremated or turned into a diamond or shot into outer space, says Banks. They might only want to invite millionaires, or the directors of all the national [art] galleries.
It will be up to them. Banks doesnt even want to know, and wont ask.
But she gets something in return: the right to their answers to the application questions. And the funeral and its byproducts are a work of art that must carry Banks name.
Ive decided to take my own death and turn it into a way to never die, she says. The goal is immortality, right? Isnt that what we all want, to not be forgotten?
And the all-important question, how will she pick the winner?
Naturally, the same way reality TV does.
Whoever I think will cause the most drama, she laughs. Whoevers not here to make friends.
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