2021 / Re-live

Public commission, Les Nouveaux Commanditaires program, Saint-Malo hospital
Wood, resin and reconstituted stone, paint, gold leaf, varnish
Dimensions 120x150x30cm

The law of bioethics of August 6, 2004, advises to the “establishments holding the authorization mentioned in the article L1233-1, to create a place of memory intended for the expression of the recognition to the donors of elements of their body with a view to a graft”. The Saint-Malo hospital wished to call upon the Nouveaux Commanditaires program which allows citizens to commission a work from an artist in response to a social issue. The mediator Eternal Network suggested that they entrust this commission to Laurent Pernot.

Laurent Pernot created a work installed at the Saint-Malo hospital on June 22, 2021, in the reception hall, on the occasion of the National Day of Reflection on Organ Donation and Transplantation and of Recognition to Donors. This work transcribes the generosity carried by the gesture of donation. We see two forearms approaching each other, emerging from a plate on which is written: “The transmission of life, this is the immense gift that has allowed the unknown person that I am to live again”, the words of an anonymous transplant recipient in gold leaf in the manner of a commemorative plaque. These two hands that brush against each other, in a gesture to retain, support, sympathize, transmit, take care, open the field of interpretation and take on a different meaning according to the experience and sensitivity of each. With delicacy, Laurent Pernot approaches the transmission of life. He pays tribute to deceased donors and their bereaved relatives, while emphasizing the importance of donation and transplantation.

Organ donation contributes to a conception of humanity -and more widely of life- as a single entity, a whole of which we are only parts. I like to think of humanity as a single body. The donation of an organ is an absolute gesture of charity (For Jankélévitch, “charity is the virtue of virtues”), a gift without expecting anything in return, except to give hope to others who are suffering, to allow others to survive, to those others -who could be us- not to die. A gift is not a sacrifice, it is a final declaration of love: a gift to life. There is a void between these two hands, a tiny space : this void represents what separates the dead from the living. That is, almost nothing. In a suspended movement, one hand will return to life thanks to the other which leaves it, in a last gesture of humanity. Laurent Pernot

Eternal Network | Eric Foucault

Nathalie Guinard, coordinating clinician | Alexia Bizeul, nurse coordinator, in charge of organ donations| Rachel Ménard, nurse coordinator, in charge of organ donations | Catherine Prémel-Cabic| Dominique Moreau, president of FRANCE ADOT 35 | With the assistance of Armelle Boulvard, coordinator for the Rennes Biomedicine Agency

City of Saint-Malo | Saint-Malo Hospital Center | Daniel & Nina Carasso Foundation | Fondation de France

GMF | AMIGO Bretagne | EOVIMcd | Groupe BEAUMANOIR

France ADOT 35 | Agence de la Biomédecine