One of Miss Mancini’s private clients was an elderly gentleman, Mr. George Gaudet. Being of extremely old age, (no one is exactly sure, but estimates range between 92 and 104) he was seldom seen outside of his apartment. Last week, Miss Mancini made her usual visit to clean the apartment, and reported that Mr. Gaudet was quietly occupied in his living room. However, yesterday Miss Mancini arrived at Mr. Gaudet’s to find him on the floor of his living room, dead.
Naturally, the young woman was greatly shocked and is still in an unstable state. The police and ambulance were called and the corpse of Mr. Gaudet was taken to the coroner for examination. The Coroner, Mr. G. Cheng, announced in a statement that Mr. Gaudet had died of heart failure. However, he reported that it had occurred two weeks ago. This contradicts Miss Mancini’s account, as she had stated that Mr. Gaudet had most certainly been alive on her previous visit. Mr. Cheng admitted to being baffled by the contradiction of his findings with Mancini's statement. Cheng added to the mystery when he announced that he had discovered numerous folds in Mr. Gaudet's lungs.
“The folds were harmless, but I have never, not once, seen this before”, Cheng explained. “There was all manner of folds…mountain folds, valley folds, pleat folds, squash folds, inside reverse and outside reverse folds”. This statement was of particular interest to The Society as there were interesting correlations to information revealed by Miss Mancini in her interview.
In her interview, Miss Mancini mentioned the thousands and thousands of origami models that stood on every available inch of tabletop and shelf in Mr. Gaudet’s home. “It was so awful to have to clean them! I suppose it is a terrible thing to say…but he is a client that I don’t mind losing so much because of those annoying little folded things. Can you imagine having to dust off thousands of bits of dirty paper once a week?”
The correlation prompted The Society to conduct further investigations. In a private interview, Mr. Cheng was amazed to hear about Mr. Gaudet’s paper models. “It is quite incredible…but I believe we now have an answer to our conundrum…” Mr. Cheng explained, that a man who existed in such a solitary state as Mr. Gaudet must have lived his days in silence. The only sound that would have echoed throughout his days was that of his own breath. This would have continued for such an incredibly long period of time, that at some point, silence would have ceased to exist for Mr. Gaudet. The constancy of no sound would have been replaced with the faint, incidental sound of breathing.
Becoming conscious of his own breath gradually becoming shorter and fainter would have made Mr. Gaudet aware of his mortality. Mr. Cheng asserts that this awareness was the catalyst of his paper modeling. “Not being able to move much in old age…folding would have become Gaudet’s attempt at asserting his existence, by giving life to sheets of paper”.
“There is no doubt Gaudet died of a heart failure two weeks ago. When Mancini saw him last week Gaudet’s heart was no longer keeping him alive. The folding was. This explains the presence of folding in the lungs”. Cheng Concludes that “Gaudet only died because he ran out of paper”.
To confirm the theory, The Society returned to the scene, finding not one sheet of paper in the apartment unfolded. Thousands of paper models still sit quietly all around the tiny apartment. They are the remains of a frail existence where silence and even life ceased to exist, and breath itself was replaced with a collection of limp folds."
Derrick and Christina's work Rest and Repeat is currently in two locations is traveling around Australia with the Design Now! collection. You can also check it out at 35 Balfour St, Chippendale NSW..