photo credit: Benoit Pailley, New Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A DUTIFUL SCRIVENER

single-channel HD video
15:06 minutes  
2010

On May 20 of 2010, we interviewed Bill McDonald, The New York Times Obituaries Editor. This interview culminated in the piece A Dutiful Scrivener, which takes viewers through a discussion of the journalistic criteria of posthumous representation, writing style, judgment, newsworthiness, and the obituary to be written. We see this piece as an alter-mausoleum where the logging of one’s achievements and failures is transformed into a process of questioning. How might we critically reflect upon this form of writing, framework, limitations, and prescribed word count employed to sum up a life?