Michele Meek’s meditative documentary THE IMPERMANENCE OF EVERYTHING delves into the fleeting nature of all things through the metaphor of creating beautiful, elaborate, and ultimately ephemeral works of art.
Through the film, Meek explores intentionally transitory works of art—from street artists whose work can be erased in days or hours to those who work with naturally decomposing materials like leaves and sticks to the Tibetan Buddhist practice of creating sand mandalas, intricate and colorful paintings made of sand that are ritualistically destroyed upon completion.
At the same time, the film recognizes a reverse force—our desire to perpetuate, or make permanent, historical works of art. In Rome, remnants of a thriving ancient artistic culture remain spread throughout the city, and great efforts are taken to rescue, restore, and memorialize these works. Yet, even here, a certain futility necessarily exists—architectural structures weaken and artworks fade over time. Even when human effort has ensured works of art have not disappeared, in other words, those works nonetheless inevitably change over time.
Ultimately the film ponders questions like: what drives humans to make and preserve art, and how might the fleeting nature of art help reveal the impermanence of everything?