Ontelbaar veel momenten van afscheid

Performance duration: 00:30:00. Video registration: 00:01:07. HD video 1920 × 1080. Camera: Panasonic LUMIX DMC G7

‘Ontelbaar veel momenten van afscheid’ is a performance. This performance was a one-time-only performance. The registration is made to showcase and curate the work at a later day.

I was confronted daily with the feeling of having to “say goodbye” repeatedly. I felt the need to give shape to these feelings. I got inspired by the play ‘Funeral’ (the play theatre collective: Brakke Grond, directed by Alexander Devriendt), in which the scene where I had to throw a handful of confetti in the air, touched me profoundly. I wanted to recreate the moment together with my father. No confetti, but flower petals, like the ones we sprinkled on my mother’s grave during the funeral.

During the performance, I brought a ladder with us as prop. The ladder created a (physical) distance between us and the raw emotion of grief. Furthermore, it created an alienation; which gave some breathing room. We searched for places that made us want to say goodbye to my mother/his wife. I would set up the ladder, and my father would climb it with a handful of petals. This act of climbing the ladder and throwing the petals, slowly shifted our perspective: emotions and memories are re-experienced from a somatic state.

In addition, my father became a fellow ‘maker’ and not just a spectator. He took the role of co-creator without any direction on my part. I didn’t try to control the route. When we were done at one place, I left it up to him to continue or stop the performance.