Concept for immersive installation
as a wish for the materialisation of an ephemeral space to bring Death back to the conversation
Further exploration of the translation of this concept into an exibition about death,
designed using the Parochialkirche in Berlin as the hosting space.
Concept for installation
We shouldn't fear death. In fact, I don't think we do, we fear pain, our own pain, we fear a painful loss of a loved one, we fear regret, not knowing what to do, not knowing how we could've done better or no longer being able to, or the pain of the things we won't have the chance to live or to share. The real fear is how we're going to feel when someone is gone, or the things that we will miss out on.
And yet we do not fear death, but here in the west it still has become almost a taboo topic (and only the funerary industries are profiting of this silence). The unknown is what we're not talking about, what will be of us, what we'll do once this happens to people close to us.
Being in limbo is interpreted as an unclear, in-between stage, with uncertainty of what we'll do next. Religiously, or when related to death it often refers to the region of afterlife some religions believe is designated for souls that go neither to heaven nor hell and reflects the metaphorical comparison of being in an intermediate, infinite state of waiting
This art installation is a wish for the materialisation of this topic, of not death but the process of dying, the inner individual experience, and the communal and ceremonial one of those around you.
Entering the installation, we find ourselves in a place illuminated by multiple little lights floating all over the space, as they were stars, or the sparkles of energy that happen in our brains when we think. They are distant or close, stronger or weaker, as the memories, emotions and ideas we had through our lives.
When starting to walk, we look at our path, and the way is defined by a mirror ground, elevated over water flowing towards the front, where we can see a doorway and a bright light inside.
As we walk this path, we become more aware of the presence of others, or of the lack of it, and how loud this presence or absence feels for us. We move forward, and as we do we the distance between us and the rest of the people around us varies.
We smell salt, as were we in the seaside, walking above the waters.
This congregation of 'eternal' elements balance out the individuality as represented by the body.
Once we let go of it the immutable order of the world may be restored, and the individual starts the initiation to the social afterlife in which the dead person becomes an ancestor, making it even a kind of rebirth.
As we get closer towards the door we can see it leads to a circular white space, bright, but with no obvious light source in sight. In the centre of this circular space is a pile of white sand,
that guides the people to stand or walk around this pile.
This encourages us to think about death not only like an individual, but also a communal experience. Once someone who's part of one or many communities, leaves us, the community then starts its own particular mortality rites, which like other ceremonies, can be use to ease this social crisis.
Togetherness counteracts the centrifugal forces of fear, dismay, demoralization and provides the most powerful means of reintegration of the group's shaken solidarity and the re- establishment of its moral.
Once we've walked through our universe in order to reach this bright peaceful social space, we are ready to walk again through the passage where we came from. This time leaving the light to go once more through this universe, but this time as experienced beings, able to guide the souls who are journeying through this walkway for the first time.
Death awareness is a natural synonym to life awareness, speaking about dying empowers us, allows to contemplate how it is that we'd like to leave, and might help calm fears around those around us.
Once we're able to verbalise something, it becomes less and less scary.
Furthering the exploration

Imagining how to translate a this contemplation into a pedagogical exhibition about Death
The following images propose a journey through space using the following topics:
· Growth and Decay ·
· Garden of Paradises ·
· Infinitude · 
· Release ·
· How to die ·

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