Una vez al año, no hace daño.

This piece is part a series entitled Conversations with Death which purpose is to open a dialogue about death in our daily life, and a homage to those who have left us. It was inspired by the passing of my uncle from lung cancer, which started an obsession with the fragility of our existence, mourning, and death rituals. The title comes from a Mexican saying which is meant to justify vices or desires that are only done ever so often, which translates to: Once a year, does no harm. During his last days in the hospital, what my uncle wanted the most was a cigarette, so he asked me to smoke one and come back to describe him the experience. This was the  last interaction that I had with the man who was like a father to me. I will smoke one cigarette  a year for the rest of my life, to honor the memory of my uncle, and engage with strangers on a conversation about death and dying.

Since his death on February 11, 2008, I've collected the cigarette buds from these experiences which will remain as the ephemeral sculptural evidence of the performance.  I will also register the day, time, location and name of the individual who smoked the cigarette with me. This performance will occur randomly ounce a year when someone offers me a cigarette. The  piece is an ignator of cathartic dialogue of expectations, anxieties, and frustrations with our own fragility. The cigarette buds will be  archived with the date, name of the person and location, and become sculptural pieces that will accumulate as a reminder of the passage of time, as I approach my own death.