unit 7, part 1

 

 

AFTERLIFE II Preview from Tii Ansio on Vimeo.

 

 

 

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photos by me

 

 

mix by me to be played at the funeral

 

 

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photo by Agata Kay

 

 

 

  

 

 

2 - AFTERLIFE from Tii Ansio on Vimeo.

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

unit 7, part 1:

AFTERLIFE

 

Afterlife explores different stages of death - the limbo, purgatory, hell, heaven, paradise - and introduces the idea that the value of one's life is being judged. The decision is arbitrary, rather than generated. Introspection and roleplay can be seen as good values - ignorance is a sin. 

Near death experiences often change the perspective of everything - the self, value of life - for those who are brought back alive after often an unexpected accident, heart attack or so on.

Portrait is a way to explore self, identity, role - and its also a way to capture a moment of being alive at a certain point of life, preferably, the high point. The art is to be able to recognise that high - so that even after death this portrait will stay. 

Briefly, the project focuses on

 

IDENTITY

which consists of

different types of self-expression (such as portrait, doppelgangers, dress-up/role play, surroundings)

life ("as a game", routines, rules, structure, fantasies, highs/lows)

and (after death) (NDE, suicide, "judgement day", inbetween states, incarnation )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cindy Sherman, A retrospective

 

 

 

 

 

 

Louis Caillaud

 source

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(When?)

A Man gets a portrait done

 

 

 

 

 

Designing a funeral or gravestone is a responsibility left for relatives or friends to be taken care of. Who decides which elements, such as the coffin - the flowers - the music - the prayers - the guests - the outfit - will represent the deceased, as they know him/her. 

 

 

A portrait of the deceased is a less common part of the grieving process - often dead children, who didn?t live long enough to be captured in a portrait are subjects of post-mortem photography.

 

 

 

 

 

This idea of portrait,  the question of timing, in modern life, hasn?t found it?s place. Ideally, the portrait would capture the moment of the high point of the life . How more valuable would it be to capture not only the high, but also the low, the average?     Like the picture of Dorian Gray - the day when the painting was made he was the best version of himself, young, innocent and beautiful, and even if his looks would stay the same, his life  would start to fall apart, day by day.

 

 

 

 

  

 

Imagining a situation of an unexpected death before ever achieving anything, before reaching that moment worth capturing - and before getting the portrait done. 

 

 

 

 

Having a portrait done is accepting the truth that nothing is eternal - that you need an image to help remembering things, and to fake things, because eventually, all memories fade, even an image won?t bring back everything that it?s supposed to be communicating.

 

 

 

 

Five minute personality game

Shape personality game

 

 

 

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Draw a house, a wolf, a river, a mountain, a tree , test results

left to right, top: me, Artem

left to right, below: Alex, Pierre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"A quite disturbing element of these Victorian post-mortem photographs is the fact that due to the slow process of taking pictures with early cameras, the living in photographs are slightly blurred whilst the dead ? who cannot move ? appears with crystal clarity. In some ways the dead seem more alive than the living ? certainly less ghostly."

http://listverse.com/2012/10/24/memento-mori-victorian-death-photos/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Death in games / afterlife / chances to try again

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 person - self-portraits / portrayed by someone else

 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO portrait by Nick Knight

 

 

 

 

 

 

"That you make this distinction between designing for men and women is interesting because you?ve made it a point in the past, on several occasions, to identify yourself as bisexual. The self-portraits you?ve taken for your photography book, L?Ai-Je Bien Descendu? [2008], include a double exposure of you urinating into your own mouth...

 

Let?s talk about your body in particular. You?ve made a full-scale, anatomically correct, wax statue of yourself, which now stands behind the cash register in your Paris store. Why did you do this?

It was meant originally as a personal exercise, and never for public display. In 2005, we had just bought our current house in Paris, which was a significant moment for me. I thought to myself, what does a man do when he reaches this point in his life? Traditionally, he?d commission a portrait to put over the mantel?a very lord-of-the-manor type thing. I wanted to do that, but instead of a portrait, I got a wax figure made. It?s also an exercise in vanity, as well as a creepy exercise in mortality?it infers that I?ve captured myself in a moment of glory, and everything after will be part of my decay. It?s poignant and tragic. Anyway, I got the mannequin made by a company in London that makes wax sculptures for museums and Madame Tussauds. It was sculpted, not made from a cast, so I had to go in for sittings for hours at a time. We took measurements with forceps, tons and tons of photographs, and from that, they came up with a rough bust?which was very realistic. It was an intense experience because the sculptor is touching your body, and touching the clay, and it becomes a very intimate relationship. The process was almost completely silent."

 

 

source 

 

 

 

 

 

source

 

 

 

PORTRAIT AND TIMING

"milestones", mental/physical changes, rite of passage

 

 

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Boris Mikhailov - The wedding

 

 

 

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UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Bryan Lewis Saunders

"After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of self. So I came up with another experiment where everyday I took a different drug or intoxicant and drew myself under the influence.  Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage that wasn't irreparable.  I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time and presently only take drugs that are prescribed to me by a doctor. "

 

source

Details

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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photo by Isabelle Du

 

The performance was a creation that was combining research and other elements for the project so far, with an addition of personal experiences during the time of the project. I was hoping to find answers to questions considering identity, death and value of life.

Identity became problematic after finishing the film and trying to research on different ways of defying a person. Portraits and personality games were one of the methods I was using trying to resolve the problem. Personality games, or games in general, are like life - they are simply all about fulfilling tasks to find answers throughout the journey from the beginning to the end. Portraits are taken after (like trophies are gained) after successfully reaching a certain milestone, at rites of passage, but in modern life such important moments are not as clear (marriage, building a house, defeating an enemy/obstacle). Photos and self-photos are taken daily so the role of an official portrait has faded away. The official portrait doesn't seem contemporary, until the moment of sudden death. Which photo will represent the deceased, when there's so many to choose from?

In Victorian time, photography was expensive, so it wasn't exceptional that a person might die before a single photograph was taken of them; that's why post-mortem photography was much more natural than these days. The Deceased were portrayed either on their death bed / coffin or set in a photograph as if they were still alive.

Sometimes the eyelids were painted white, to make the person look more alive.

My performance ends to a small ritual of my friend painting my eyelids white, symbolising that the performance is about to end and I will return back to life, starting from "opening my eyes again". Throughout the whole performance, I've had my eyes closed, and I've been half-deaf as well because of the stereos that were playing loud music just next to my coffin. (Being deaf wasn't my intention but just as the beginning was about to start, my friend turned the volume up but obviously I couldn't do anything anymore at that point.) 

 

The whole purpose of this 1-hour performance was

 

to see how would it effect the way I view/value myself/my life after "faking" the experience of dying (after NDE a lot of people wake up rememberig seeing their life "in front of their eyes", with a clear direction/purpose how to continue it, valuing the fact of being alive more than ever before, remembering a voice telling them that it's not their time to go yet and so on),

to see what kind of reactions would it create in the audience

to have "a post-mortem portrait" taken of me (without me being able to have an influence on it)

to create a memory,an  experience that represents me, to deepen my self-knowledge by constructing an something that will never change, for example, using objects, music and clothes to create an alternative portrait of myself.

 

 

 

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 photos by Domantas Jokubauskas

 

 

 

 

 

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burning the diary

 

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 photo by me

 

 

 

 

source

 

Allowing chance to take control; burning the diary was a solution and experiment seeing how mind and memory can be controlled and manipulated. 

"But his latest book, “Tree of Codes,” takes the integration of writing and design to a new level. As Visual Editions, the London-based publisher, describes it, the book is as much a “sculptural object” as it is a work of fiction: “Jonathan Safran Foer has taken his favorite book, ‘The Street of Crocodiles’ by Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz, and used it as a canvas, cutting into and out of the pages, to arrive at an original new story.”

The result is a text of cutout pages, with text peeking through windows as the tale unfolds. Foer discussed the making of this book in a recent interview."

source

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use of Rooms

 

 

 

 

 

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photos by me

 

 

 

Room changes (day to night), characters/activities change

 

 

 

 

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The red room / the black lodge first appears in Cooper's dream. It turns out that the room is real, even though it is in another reality. 

In this room he meets his doppelganger, as well himself when he's old, dead people, characters who don't exist in the real world - these encounters help him to solve the mystery

 

 

 

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Same room, same appearance

- different character

 

 

 

Screenshot 2017-04-26 09.28.26.jpg 

source : screenshot from Altered States by Ken Russell

 

 

 

 

 

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Details

 

 

 

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Katharina Sieverding 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

Gordon Matta-Clark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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" Matta-Clark understood the psychic power of buildings over people. In one notebook from 1976, he wrote that he wanted to ?convert a place into a state of mind?. [8] This bond between home and occupant was articulated in the correspondence that Matta-Clark received after Splitting was opened for viewing. A number of letters complained about what he had done, saying that he had violated the sanctity and dignity of abandoned buildings; one even likened it to rape. [9]"

 

https://theibtaurisblog.com/2015/01/26/gordon-matta-clark-splitting-and-the-unmade-house/

 

 

Having enlisted the knowledge and help of the German-born artist Manfred Hecht, Matta-Clark jacked up one end of the frame, including one of the porches, removed a layer of cinder blocks, and cut through the entire side of the building ? inside and out ? with a chainsaw. Gradually he lowered the back of the building onto the remaining blocks, leaving a gap in the cut of about two-thirds of a metre at the top that tapered to a slit at the base. [3] He called this work Splitting, and part of the filmed record features Matta-Clark stripped to the waist, at different times pulling hard on the jacks, up a ladder directing the saw and manipulating the cuts; he appears to be as engrossed in his work as Jackson Pollock in the films that show him dripping paint onto canvas, or indeed Trisha Brown in films of dance performances in which she scales buildings and creates improvised urban encounters. All show the artists? physical and mental engagement with their work and are performances of a type. When writing about Splitting, Matta-Clark also gave the house its performative role, saying that having made the cut there was a real moment of suspense about how the house would react, but that it responded ?like a perfect dance partner?.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

Analysis of the film 

 

 

The film is based in two locations - the limbo and the afterlife. The whole focus is in the selection - people (warriors in the original context) who die in an honoured way, and the rest who will remain forever in the limbo.

 

Unhonoured is a term that can be interpretated in such many ways - in this concept, the biggest sins are ignorance, unintelligence, lack of curiousness. A life that is neither good or bad. The people who choose to be the most extreme versions of themselves, will continue, to an afterlife, an eternal paradise or hell - either is a better option than being stuck in the limbo forever.

 

 

 

Mysterious characters in charge of each paradise or hell appear - in forms of doppelgänger -  they suggest a way the life could have been lead. In the film, we follow the wanderer inside the limbo, who is so close to reaching the building, but who never properly enters it - a reflection of him, freed of the rags, the blindfold, is presented. Whereas the other people in the waiting room, are clearly proceeding . One by one, they are being called to continue their journey. 

 

There are different characters who seem to play with the blindfolded, to fiddle with their destiny. Firstly, the 3 muses - in the original Greek mythology, the muses would decide when a mortal's life would end, by cutting the thread of life. Throughout the film, the muses play with the scissors and the thread, showing either amusement or uncertainty . So the muses make the first decision about sending a person to either the limbo or the waiting room state - the next decision falls in the hands of the characters dressed in red who will divide the ones who made it to the inbetween.

 

The key is the blindfold - where the character stuck in the limbo has lost his vision and is unable to see/enter the building that is just in front. 

 

In one of the scenes, a blindfolded character is being escorted to the room with red light by a masked female - the long "nose" remarks a beak, which is a nod towards the Norse mythology, where the Valkyries lead the other half of the fallen to Valhalla. "Valhalla" is being represented as a room, in the cold light of morning, broken records scattered on the floor - suggesting that the party is over but life continues.

 

So the afterlife here is presented as an idea of afterparty - when a party ends, only a selected number of people will continue to an afterparty.Some go to sleep, but the nature of afterparties is more exclusive - others are simply not invited.

 

 

The transition goes back and forth. The track of past and presence is lost in the process. When the time is ticking, you go back and forth in your memories - seeing the last moments and what will eventually happen next, at the same time.

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 NDE

 

 

 

 

"Near-death experiences (NDEs) can be reproduced by ketamine via blockade of receptors in the brain for the neurotransmitter glutamate, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. Conditions that precipitate NDEs, such as hypoxia, ischemia, hypoglycemia, and temporal lobe epilepsy, have been shown to release a flood of glutamate, overactivating NMDA receptors and resulting in neurotoxicity. Ketamine prevents this neurotoxicity. There are substances in the brain that bind to the same receptor site as ketamine. Conditions that trigger a glutamate flood may also trigger a flood of neuroprotective agents that bind to NMDA receptors to protect cells, leading to an altered state of consciousness like that produced by ketamine."

 

 

source

 

 

 

ACCIDENT / CHANCE

 

 

 

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ALPHA BUSINESS CENTRE

 

 

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"Alpha waves are one type of brain waves detected either by electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetoencephalography (MEG) and predominantly originate from the occipital lobe during wakeful relaxation with closed eyes. Alpha waves are reduced with open eyes, drowsiness and sleep."
 

Alpha waves are present at different stages of the wake-sleep cycle. The most widely researched is during the relaxed mental state, where the subject is at rest with eyes closed, but is not tired or asleep. This alpha activity is centered in the occipital lobe, and is presumed to originate there, although there has been recent speculation that it instead has a thalamic origin.[6] This wave begins appearing at around four months, and is initially a frequency of 4 waves per second. The mature alpha wave, at 10 waves per second, is firmly established by age 3.[7]"

 

 

 

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"It is a handy analogy to think of Brainwaves as musical notes - the low frequency waves are like a deeply penetrating drum beat, while the higher frequency brainwaves are more like a subtle high pitched flute. Like a symphony, the higher and lower frequencies link and cohere with each other through harmonics. "
 
 

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DELTA WAVES (.5 TO 3 HZ)

Delta Waves, the slowest but loudest brainwaves

Delta brainwaves are slow, loud brainwaves (low frequency and deeply penetrating, like a drum beat). They are generated in deepest meditation and dreamless sleep. Delta waves suspend external awareness and are the source of empathy. Healing and regeneration are stimulated in this state, and that is why deep restorative sleep is so essential to the healing process.

THETA WAVES (3 TO 8 HZ)

Theta brainwaves, occur in sleep and are also dominant in deep meditation.

Theta brainwaves occur most often in sleep but are also dominant in deep meditation. It acts as our gateway to learning and memory. In theta, our senses are withdrawn from the external world and focused on signals originating from within. It is that twilight state which we normally only experience fleetingly as we wake or drift off to sleep. In theta we are in a dream; vivid imagery, intuition and information beyond our normal conscious awareness. It?s where we hold our ?stuff?, our fears, troubled history, and nightmares.

ALPHA WAVES (8 TO 12 HZ)

Alpha brainwaves occur during quietly flowing thoughts, but not quite meditation.

Alpha brainwaves are dominant during quietly flowing thoughts, and in some meditative states. Alpha is ?the power of now?, being here, in the present. Alpha is the resting state for the brain. Alpha waves aid overall mental coordination, calmness, alertness, mind/body integration and learning.

BETA WAVES (12 TO 38 HZ)

Beta brainwaves are present in our normal waking state of consciousness.

Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ?fast? activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, and engaged in focused mental activity.

Beta brainwaves are further divided into three bands; Lo-Beta (Beta1, 12-15Hz) can be thought of as a 'fast idle, or musing. Beta (Beta2, 15-22Hz) is high engagement or actively figuring something out. Hi-Beta (Beta3, 22-38Hz) is highly complex thought, integrating new experiences, high anxiety, or excitement. Continual high frequency processing is not a very efficient way to run the brain, as it takes a tremendous amount of energy. 

GAMMA WAVES (38 TO 42 HZ)

Gamma brainwaves are the fastest of brain waves and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas

Gamma brainwaves are the fastest of brain waves (high frequency, like a flute), and relate to simultaneous processing of information from different brain areas. It passes information rapidly, and as the most subtle of the brainwave frequencies, the mind has to be quiet to access it. Gamma was dismissed as 'spare brain noise' until researchers discovered it was highly active when in states of universal love, altruism, and the ?higher virtues?. Gamma is also above the frequency of neuronal firing, so how it is generated remains a mystery. It is speculated that Gamma rhythms modulate perception and consciousness, and that a greater presence of Gamma relates to expanded consciousness and spiritual emergence.

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Details

 

 

 

 

 

Project proposal

draft 1

 

 

 

 

The time spent on putting together my portfolio showed me the true outcome of the foundation course so far: I have learned how to visually present my work both aesthetically and self-explatanatorily. In addition, the recent development in both written and spoken expression of my work has been rewarding: in terms of collaboration and presentation, it has been remarkably important to be able to speak out my ideas with confidence, to allow other people understand my means throughout the process. The collaborative work started by working only with closest friends, but project by project, I have gained confidence to let other people in and also present my work in front of big audiences.

 

The aim for this project is to keep on pursuing new ways of working with people and documenting this process. The main focus will be in interaction between the people included, combining both writing and photography but I also want to find new unconventional ways of presenting relationships and chemistry between us. 

 

The final outcome will be presented as a book/booklet, and working towards this concept has already started - the first week of the project, I was doing research, thinking about a whole different outcome. (Eventually, this research and outcome is still a present in this project, but only a small part of it.) The second week, I created a film that was projected at a party on the 18th of February. The film was created in relatively short time, however the concept I had was strong and interesting, so my idea will stay to keep developing the same themes for the final project.

 

The same week I moved to an abandoned office building called Alpha Business Centre. Two of my close friends were already living in the building and actually my film was almost entirely shot in there. The building offers an amazing creative atmosphere and most importantly a change of scenery after spending so much time in the library for the past few months. The space is huge, with a lot of natural light, and most of the rooms are available for us to use. In fact, two of my other friends will move in as well next week. 

 

Together, we form a group of creatives all specialising in different things - performance, fashion design, photography and styling - but we all share the same taste and interest in collaborating together. The Alpha Business Centre is in great condition for living but unfortunately, it will be knocked down sooner or later, and we will only get one month?s notice before having to move out. Within this time limit, I want to take the best out of this amazing chance we have to live and work together.

 

Going back to the film I did, I realised how interesting it was to work so fast, without a proper script just going to the shoot location and improvising a lot of the scenes. Shooting of the scenes, the chemistry between the characters, the editing process - all of it expanded the concept in a totally different way that any time spent in the library did. 

 

Exactly like this film was made the focus in my final project is in things that are happening at the moment and direct, honest documentation of it. There?s a book by Sophie Calle ?Prenez soin de vous? that is currently representing my idea of how I would like to present the final outcome, but obviously the more material I start to have, I will reconsider and see what will be the best medium to put everything together. To start with, I want to document our life in these surroundings, everyone?s individual project and their ways of working, the communication between each other and as a group. 

 

Ultimately, we want to collaborate together, creating one final outcome, which can be anything at the moment - my work will also be documenting the process of this. Ideally my publication will end to the presentation of our final project. The film I made will be presented in this publication as well because it is already shot in the Alpha Business Centre and developing the concept will continue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concept 

 

 

1. Thoughts instantly after finishing the film

The film was shot at ABC and during the shoot we didn?t only spend more time together but also along became the solution that the change of scenery that I needed to release myself again to be more open to experiences, rather than time travelling to feelings and relationships that were not relevant anymore, but which had never been properly channeled - all that was now made visible, in form that would not fade away or be consciously forgotten. I knew that there was no subjects currently to dive into - I should get in touch with life again, get myself properly involved this time, think less and do more. 

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Exactly like this film was made, with just a little bit of planning and researching, the focus should be  in things that are happening at the moment. 

 

 

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2. Sophie Calle

 

The book by Sophie Calle ?Prenez Soin de Vous? is an interesting compilation of writing, portraits, photographs and actual letters/emails/print outs. What i find interesting in this book is how the communication is been documented, the display of the page - for example, the portrait of a woman playing the piano, displayed next to the notes - and also the portraits of women reading a text on a piece of paper -

this gave me an idea of  writing a clear synopsis - again, as I did for the last project, but last time it was to prepare the audience for whatever was coming up. 

This synopsis I would write wouldn?t necessarily be a part of the project - maybe it can be revealed at the very end. 

But the point is that in the beginning everyone would read the same text - writing that is not too explanatory, that would leave a lot up for interpretation. 

 

 

 

 

Details

 

 

 

 

PROJECTION

2ND ANNIVERSARY

x

SURROUNDINGS

 

 

 

 

The apocalyptic landscapes from Anselm Kiefer's exhibition Walhalla moved me in such way that I wanted to keep chasing the feeling I had; of what the world may look like after the end. The afterlife, the apocalypse, but most importantly, the survival.

I want to explore this experience when I was examining the details of the painting and got totally lost in it, while my eyes were zooming it I felt like I was moving inside the painting. Suddenly I felt like my life was going to end soon and the painting was showing what I would see after I die. I left the room, shocked, but continued to see the rest of the exhibition. It was very hard and scary, entering each room not knowing what to expect. But the more I walked around, I started to see light and hope. For example, I was looking at a painting at close, and I could just see flames and darkness, but when I moved further away, I could see a that there was light in the horizon.

After I returned to the first room with the apocalyptic paintings, I felt relieved, because the way I saw the painting now was different. I could see it was still the same painting, the same landscape, but it wasn't chaotic anymore, it remained still and peaceful. It almost felt like a near death experience. 

On the 18th of February, my friends will arrange a 2nd anniversary party

They had proposed me that I could do a projection for the party but I hadn't really thought about it until this exhibition. Then the two things came together: these apocalyptic landscapes would work perfectly for the projection. 

The only instructions for the projection is that it has to be somehow related to the symbolism of number 2. 

In Norse mythology, the Valkyries have the power to choose the warriors who will die and who will survive. The fallen warriors are taken into either Valhalla or Fólkvangr, afterlife paradises. The way they are being selected isn't described precisely; it has only been said that the Valkyries bring the warriors into Valhalla. There isn't as much said about Fólkvangr, except that it's a meadow, whereas Valhalla is a hall.

The way I imagine these warriors are being selected is that there must be an inbetween place where the warriors are being separated and instructed to enter either of the rooms. Possibly, the Valkyries wait for them in this room, and they take the warriors to Valhalla. 

 

 

 

2

 

 

The ambiguity of the number 2 is never ending. It can symbolise dualism, polarism, separation, intersection, progression.

 

 

 

In countdown from 3 to 1, at 2, is the time of realisation of whatever is going to happen soon. Ideally, the countdown would stop at 2. At 3, nothing has still changed, at 1, the panic hits, at 0, everything is over. So at 2 we are inbetween. The adrenaline makes us more proactive but you are still able to look both back and forward, and priorise.

 

 

 

 

 

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This book was great for researching different ways of how numbers can be presented and countdown visualised. The use of different tools, codes and symbols - in the end, the most simple and most efficient was still counting with fingers. This also creates an eerie feeling that the countdown is in the (literally) hands of a person, not a machine. 

As in Ancient Rome, a simple gesture of raising ones finger could end the gladiators life.

 

 

 

 

 

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"Were they afraid of dying early? No, people told him, they were afraid of modern life.

 

'Modern life is war', one ex-coalminer told him, 'Constant struggle, no clear purpose.'"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chernobyl Stalker from Donald Weber on Vimeo.

 

 

 

images/video by Donald Weber

text by  Larry Frolick

 

 

 

"That first morning, as the plume of radioactive debris fell across the land and into the rest of Europe, the authorities evacuated the city of Pripyat and created a 40-kilometer Exclusion Zone around it. The 50,000 residents had fifteen minutes to leave, and never returned.

Today a ring of silent fire surrounds these pine woods and abandoned apartment buildings. People are not supposed to live here; wild boars, rabbits and deer thrive in the lush greenery. Even the steppe wolves have returned."

 

 

 

 

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NORSE MYTHOLOGY

 

 

 

In Norse mythology, Valhalla is "A Paradise for those fallen in battle", "a hall of the slain". The fallen warriors (Einherjar) are separated; the other half go to Valhalla, a great hall ruled by the god Odin. The Valkyries were female figures who chose who were going to die in battle and who were going to survive. After death, the Valkyries selected half of the fallen warriors and brought them to Valhalla. 

 

The other half end up in Fólkvangr "the field of the warriors", a meadow ruled by the goddess Freyja. Freyja was also the god of fertility and love. She was absolutely beautiful, with golden hair and blue eyes. She shed tears that turned gold when they hit the ground, or amber if they fell to the ocean. She was riding a chariot pulled by cats.

 

 

Ragnarok was the doom of the gods, the final battle. The apocalypse.

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"    Ominous prophecies and dreams had long foretold the downfall of the cosmos and of its gods and goddesses along with it. When the first of these prophesied events came to pass – the beloved god Baldur was killed by Loki and consigned to the underworld – the gods had to face the fact they could no longer escape their tragic destiny. They prepared as well as they could. Odin took a great deal of time and care selecting the ablest human warriors to join him in the final battle against the world-devouring giants. But, deep down, they knew that all of their desperate actions were in vain.

In Midgard, the realm of human civilization, people abandoned their traditional ways, disregarded the bonds of kinship, and sank into a wayward, listless nihilism. The gods weren’t exactly innocent of these same charges, however. They had broken oaths and fallen short of their expectations of one another on many occasions. (See, for example, The Fortification of Asgard and The Binding of Fenrir.) Three winters came in a row with no summer in between, a plodding, devastating season of darkness and frigidity which the prophecies had called the Fimbulwinter (“The Great Winter”)."

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At last, in the ultimate reversal of the original process of creation, the ravaged land sank back into the sea and vanished below the waves. The perfect darkness and silence of the anti-cosmic void, Ginnungagap, reigned once more.

But this age of death and repose did not last forever. Soon the earth was once again raised from the ocean. Baldur returned from the underworld, and the gladdened land became more lush and fruitful than it had been since it was created the previous time. A new human pair, Lif and Lifthrasir, the equivalents of Ask and Embla in the Norse creation narrative, awakened in the green world. The gods, too, returned and resumed their merrymaking.    "

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WALHALLA 

ANSELM KIEFER

 

 

 

 

download.php?file=2782615&view=249133&embedded=1&textbox=2716038

 

the inbetween

 

"The exhibition focused on the major installation Walhalla in the central corridor space, from which the other works thematically departed. Featuring a long, narrow room lined with oxidised lead, rows of fold-up steel beds are set close together and draped with dark grey crumpled lead sheets and covers. At the far end of the room, a black and white photograph mounted on lead depicted a lone figure walking away into a bleak, wintery landscape. " 

 

 

 

download.php?file=2715960&view=249133&embedded=1&textbox=2716038

 

 

 

apocalyptic landscape (limbo)

 

 

 download.php?file=2782613&view=249133&embedded=1&textbox=2716038

 

 

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photos by me

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 BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

 

 

 

(1) Donald Weber Bastard Eden, Our Chernobyl (147.7 WEB)

(2) Nick Waplington Safety in Numbers (779)

(3) Denis Gvedj Numbers: the Universal Language 

(4) Arthur Cotterell: The Encyclopedia of Mythology (291)

(5) Sophie Calle: Prenes Soin De Vous

(6) Mary Jane Jacob: Gordon Matta-Clark - A retrospective

(7) Marco Livingstone: The Essential Duane Michals

(8) Marco Livingstone: Duane Michals: Photographs / Sequences / Texts 1958 - 1984

(9) Stephanie Brown, Stephen Hobson: Intimations of mortality

 

(10) Marisa St. Clair: Near-death experience

(11) Wolfgang Brückle: Das zweite Gesicht : Metamorphosen des fotografischen Porträts 

(12) John Taylor: Death and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt

(13) David Robinson: Beautiful Death: Art of the cemetery 

 

 

 

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