The Cost of Life


Beatriz da Costa

The Cost of Life is a series of projects addressing the emotional, political and economic costs involved in sustaining life. The first, Dying for the Other, is a video triptych juxtaposing the lives of breast cancer research mice and a human suffering from the same disease. Footage was taken over the course of three months in 2011, shortly following da Costaʼs brain surgery. The second, The Life Garden, is a medicinal anti-cancer demonstration garden consisting of plants, herbs and mushrooms with known anti-cancer properties; it includes a website providing in-depth references regarding the active ingredients of each plant, as well as growing instructions. The third, an installation and cooking workshop entitled The Delicious Apothecary (currently in production) is a direct outgrowth of The Life Garden. The fourth and final project, The Anti-Cancer Survival Kit, consists of several parts, and is being designed for recently diagnosed patients and their loved ones.

Project Updates

  • 2012: Da Costa exhibits Dying for the Other at Parsons The New School for Design in New York

  • 2012: Da Costa completes the video diptych Dying for the Other

  • 2011: Da Costa begins production on The Lab and Life Garden