What happens to your online profile after you die? Do you want it to remain online, so friends can leave a message in your memory? Or do you prefer having it deleted, so no confusion can arise about your death? These questions are the inspiration for the new exhibition Ik R.I.P., the third in the series about self-representation on the internet.
Mediamatic encourages you to think about death. It may not be a happy topic, but it is important nonetheless. Besides arranging your funeral, obtaining a life insurance and drafting your will it can be useful to think about what you leave behind in the online world. You may have a profile on Mediamatic.net and other networks, perhaps you write a blog or chat with people who live on the other side of the world. What happens to all those affairs if you suddenly pass away?
The exhibition focuses on the relation between death, identity and self-expression. We will display coffins from Ghana, designed by the Ga tribe. These coffins take on the shape of a fish, football or pineapple, depending on the job, hobby or favorite food of the dead person! Mediamatic also ordered a coffin that will be specially designed for us.
The fotoseries “The Travelers” by Elizabeth Heyert consists of portraits taken after death in Harlem New York. Photographed against a black background, using the techniques of making formal portraits of the living, these photographs explore what qualities make us seem human before and after death.
“Tale of Tales” created the game The Graveyard, in which you play an old lady who visits a cemetery. You walk around, sit on a bench and listen to a song. You can also die at any moment. The creators Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn describe The Graveyard not as a game as such, but as an interactive painting that can be explored by the player.
In the vitrines outside Ruchama Noorda has installed a work made with funeral ribbons. Black ribbons are printed with silver letters that contain text from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. This gospel is one of the apocryphal gospels that were discovered in Cairo in 1896. The text tells about the road that the soul travels after death through the different planetary spheres.
Workshop: A coffin for your beloved
Together with an artist of your choice you can do a workshop “A coffin for your beloved” or “Grafkist voor je geliefde”. This workshop is meant for people who have to bury a family member and would like to decide for themselves what the coffin should look like. Each artist has their own style and way of working. Taking a cardboard coffin as their basis to work with, all of the artists designed an example-coffin that will be on display during the exhibition.
We will also concentrate on the different ways death is dealt with on the internet. Although many social network sites prefer to avoid the subject, death is present everywhere. Users write condolences, discuss young deaths on a forum, share their near death experiences on youtube or create memorial films for a deceased child or friend. It will become possible for members of Mediamatic.net to indicate your last wishes on your profile.
Tanja Baudoin, Alice Bodansky, Martin Butler, Tom Jaspers, Ivan Kadelburg, Anuschka Linse, Bram Loogman, Mhairi Macfarlane, Katja Novitskova, Jans Possel, Willem Velthoven, Wikke van Weelderen.