What does it mean to refuse the passing of time?
Ask David McDermott. For over 30 years, McDermott has lived as though it was the late 19th century. McDermott, an artist, lives in Ireland—he renounced his American citizenship—in a house outfitted only with Victorian amenities. A chamber pot rests next to his bed for midnight bathroom breaks. He drives into town on an antique bicycle. Insouciant and unflappable, McDermott refuses all electronic currency, preferring paper money and metal coin.
McDermott seems to relish both the difficulty and singularity of his pursuit. He acknowledges how hard it is rip away the crutches of modernity, and, I suspect, wants others to acknowledge how unconventional his life has become. For McDermott, the job of the artist is to “[go] into the unknown territory.” This often puts the artist in a vulnerable position. But being dismissed, misunderstood, and labeled an eccentric is almost a badge…
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