In today’s issue of our monthly feature “photographers talk about their photos”, we look at a topic, that seems to have almost disappeared in the contemporary society we life in: dying. Our photographer Andre Mayr, on Photocase better known under the username superkong, published a couple of photos recently that deal with this exact subject, the transcience of all being. Together with Marlene Hirtreiter, Andre forms the artist collective Dekonstrukt and the photos, among them the portrait of the woman with the bizarre mask “Skull”, were taken while working on their project “Memento Mori“. In this blog post, he tells us more about the project and the photo.
Death is becoming more and more of a taboo today. In our meritocratic industrial society, the hunt for profit and lust maximization becomes the central element of our lives. Man has transformed himself into a numb and dull being, that has lost itself in a tireless search for a fulfilled and happy life.
We enter a half dark, empty room. At the end of the room, there is a illuminated, wide open three-door cupboard.
The trans-media room sculpture “Memento Mori” wants to break through the cycle of civilization of our time and aims to create a consciousness for the own existence and the associated preciousness of time by a three-dimensional visualization of death. The base of the room sculpture is a three-door living room cupboard of a deceased relative. A screen in the middle of the cupboard shows a video of metaphorical depictions of transience and death. The photo “Skull” was taken during the conception phase of that video. It shows a plaster mask decorated with numerous deer skulls, a Vanitas motif as well as collector’s items of the previous owner of the cupboard, who used to be a huntsman. This way, the skulls become timeless objects of remembrance that receive a new meaning through alienation.
In addition to the visualization of transience, it was important to us to show the loss of corporeality. The body becomes a formless shell, solitude takes over the room and makes us realize our entity.
Around the cupboard are several sound sources, that play 3 different interviews of the topic, from an emotional, economic and medical perspective. Parts of the insides of the box are covered with graphically revised remembrance cards. Another element in the cupboard are cloths, starched and hanging on a clothes rail, another representation of finitude through remembrance. Ultimately, the cupboard and the other objects melt together to form a highly symbolical room sculpture, a “Memento Mori”, that wants to convey to the viewer the awareness of his or her own existence.
You can find more information and pictures here.
Thanks Andre! Head to his user profile here.