Dry point, monoprint, 2013
This is one of my first investigation on the theme of death and the anxiety that comes when we think about it. The works started from a personal reflection on Heideggers idea of the authentic existence, which means to always live in the perspective of your death, because we can only experience it through other peoples, we have to think about our own for us to fully live our life. Only by acknowledging the limits of our own existence and that can happen in every moment we can live free of the pressures of society and the expectations of others of u
“The existential concept of death shows Dasein as projecting itself in terms of a possibility that is its ownmost, non-relational, and that cannot be bypassed. In Being and Time, Heidegger turns toward this existential concept of death after encountering the difficulty or perhaps the impossibility of reaching a wholeness of Dasein.
As has been explained above, this wholeness is impossible because it cannot be attained while Dasein is still alive, that is, when Dasein’s end has not been reached yet, but even if Dasein reaches its end and dies, this wholeness remains impossible, since the end means the disappearance of Dasein.
The existential concept of death shows how death belongs wholly to Dasein and its being. Death decides Dasein’s whole being as “being-toward-death”. In this deciding, death announces itself as what cannot be either evaded or passed on to another Dasein, for it is that toward which Dasein is always heading.
Yet what Heidegger notices regarding Dasein’s attitude, in its everydayness, toward the deaths of others is a tendency to conceal death as a possibility, a tendency to treat death as something that is distant.
Heidegger says that in Dasein’s everydayness the deaths of others do not remind Dasein of what is its ownmost, but rather allow it to distance itself as far as possible from its own death. This means that, according to Heidegger, the deaths of others allow Dasein to cover over or escape its own finitude.
This covering over, this escaping, occurs because Dasein, in its everydayness, sees and experiences the deaths of others as events that take place only at the end of life. This way of experiencing the deaths of others, according to Heidegger, transforms death into a future event that will take place only in the future, not here and now: “one also dies at the end, but for now one is not involved”.
According to Heidegger, “entangled, everyday being- toward-death is a constant flight from death. Being toward the end has the mode of evading that end – reinterpreting it, understanding it inauthentically, and veiling it”.
This means that everydayness veils death and hence tranquilizes Dasein by distancing it from its ownmost possibility. Everydayness allows Dasein to flee death by concealing it from Dasein in such a way that encourages Dasein to carry out this fleeing. This concealing allows death to appear as an event that only happens to others, never to oneself, and only in a distant future, never here and now.
This way of seeing and experiencing death prevents Dasein from living its own death and from projecting it ahead of itself as its ownmost possibility. Das Man, which dominates Dasein’s everydayness and decides it, conceals death and hence allows Dasein to flee it. Das Man misrepresents death in such a way that allows Dasein to flee its ownmost possibility. Heidegger says that das Man “does not permit the courage to have Angst [anxiety] about death”.”