Interactive art object
Description of the art object:
A coffin sits on a small platform with 2-3 steps in the middle of the exhibition room.
The coffin lid hangs about 1.5m over the coffin. Its top surface is covered with (artificial) turf. Above it, a watering can is hanging down, pretending to irrigate the turf.
On the inside, the coffin is lightly padded. An “Edding pen” (permanent marker) is already placed there. A few phrases of the likes that one could find on public toilets (e.g. I’m your morning after; Dani was here; Jan+Petra; all kinds of more and less wise slogans) are written on the bottom of the coffin lid as well as on the outside walls of the coffin.
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Every person who enters the room can get a numbered ticket at the time of entrance. A numeric display (similar to the ones found in administrative agencies) is mounted above the coffin. Every time a new number is displayed a chime sounds.
As soon as the number of a visitor is displayed, they have the opportunity to lie in the coffin for up to five minutes. They can also leave behind a slogan, message, drawing, etc. to “immortalize” themselves on the art object.
Once one is lying down in the coffin, it’s also possible to record the visit with a tally mark on the bottom side of the lid, currently facing the visitor.
To me, being aware of our limited time on this planet is an important insight, because it can help us to be more present, more in the here and now and to create beautiful moments more actively.
With my installation “The Last Quiet Place” I want to bring the finiteness of one’s own life to mind. This process can definitely raise questions if the viewer/participant is open to it.
One question that also arose for me is in what the participants want to believe when it comes to what is happening after their earthly existence. Being an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist, Christian, Moslem, etc. is in this context irrelevant. Way more important is how much attendees of the exhibition can open up about questions and possible insights; if it’s possible for them at all to expose themselves to this situation and therefore want or can dive down into deeper levels of their selves.
The possibility to “immortalize” oneself through a tag mark, a slogan, poem, drawing or something else on the inside of the coffin should include a dash of black humor In this very serious topic, to remind us to not take our own mortality and the life in which we’ve all been thrown into too seriously – at least not all the time.