I want you to take a moment to reflect on the amount of dead animals you’ve seen in your lifetime. For most people the reaction to that statement is that they haven’t seen many at all. But the truth is just the opposite; the truth is that they, and you, have seen a good number more than the conscious mind is willing to acknowledge. One word will change your mind about how many you yourself have seen.
And the fact that many people wouldn’t consider these animals to be of those included in the previous exercise is precisely what my work is about. On a daily basis you and just about everyone you know travel on a road where lies an animal who has been hit and killed by a car. And for the dozens of animals we might see a week you better believe there is twice as many killed that you don’t. For many months I have been determined to understand this phenomenon of roadkill and its relation to our societies awareness of mortality and lack thereof.
As I have been unable to find other such studies I have coined a term by which we may address those with the aforementioned disorder. Necropagnosia, also called corpse blindness, is a phenomenon that is commonly subconsciously (but often selectively) practiced throughout contemporary society where the ability to acknowledge and feel sympathy towards a corpse has been dulled by repeated exposure to images of, and or contact with, deceased and decaying flesh. Many cases are commonly affiliated with exposure to countless roadkill on a day to day basis to the point where one may completely ignore the corpse of a once living creature and may go so far as to be angered by the inconveniencing presence of this unwanted ‘object’.
As an artist interested in the totality of the human psyche, conscious and unconscious, I often wonder if necropagnosia will have adverse effects on our ability to preserve a stable mind.