Portraits of loss…
The Graveyard Project video art series delineates the grief and loss
felt when close relatives or friends pass away and the taboos
Installation view Copenhagen 2010.
However, it is also an illustration of how life goes
on and people learn to live with their bereavement. The project is
carried out by visual artist Martin Thaulow.
The purpose of the project is to create a space for the viewer where memory, yearning, grief and death are central issues. The viewer can wander from video to video and contemplate the many facets of death but also the widely different cultural and religious aspects portrayed. The installation lets the viewer experience the different ways in which we handle death and discover new angles on life. Life is fragile, and loss always leaves a scar, becoming part of our history regardless of our social status, cultural background, faith or beliefs.
Just as our family background is essential to the formation of our identity and sense of self, death affects our identity, particularly when we lose someone dear to us.
Death is very often regarded as taboo, particularly if the deceased committed suicide or died under other tragic circumstances.
Legitimize the dialogue about death and loss
The Graveyard Project wants to address the subject of death and legitimize dialogue about death and loss – something we all need to deal with and will eventually experience ourselves.
The installation creates a space for us that engages our experiences and memories and allows us to feel and reflect on our own losses based on.
As the exhibition grows adding footage from different parts of the world, the diversity of cultural codes will become part of the project as well: appearance, clothing, buildings, landscapes etc. will start to interrelate.
Ordinary people in all shapes and sizes
Another aim of the videos is to break the media influence that we are exposed to every day: all the pictures of perfect people living carefree lives and presenting unattainable beauty ideals. These videos show ordinary people: complex, composite beings, mortal, ephemeral, fragile, in all shapes and sizes.
Presenting the project: a video graveyard
A number of videos are played simultaneously on a range of old television sets in an exhibition room or public space. The videos show participants standing by the site where their loved ones are buried. The old television sets showing the videos are placed on the floor constituting a “video graveyard”.