Is There Fake in Afterlife?
installation, 2012, Presented in the exhibition IN OUR BACKYARDS, SPINNEREI Werkschau, Leipzig, Germany, October 5 -14, 2012
Cryopreservation Unit, Cryonics Institute, Clinton Township, Michigan, 2004-7
Can we make art after we die?
What are the possible media for an art of the AFTERIFE? To consider the possibility seriously is not to revisit work that deals with grief and dying, or with the mere representation of the afterlife. It is not to ask the disenchanted to return to the open arms of the Church. But it does require that we reexamine the limits around our ideas of transformation; it does require that we parse “the secular” as the background code that determines the parameters for many of our activities and assumptions.
Morpheus Buyback, 2011
If you receive this give us a sign, 2012
Installation (work-in-progress for performance) presented in the “invisible transfer of signals (for ioana nemes)” exhibition at ArtPoint Gallery, Kulturkontakt, Vienna, Austria.
In the last part of 2010 we started to research the Ghost Month and the Chinese rituals of sending paper money, paper clothes and more recently virtually every object produced in paper to relatives and loved ones who passed away.
Our fascination with the paper dresses produced for this ritual was the departure point for the research. Besides this we also thought of China literally flooding the world with clothing and we asked ourselves: if we import so many clothes and objects from China, when will we start importing customs and traditions as well? Changes in demographics, circuits of finances in global economy and the reciprocal dependence of Europe and China were other themes we wanted to further research
But the absurd disappearance of Ioana (Nemes) changed the whole world for us. Suddenly it became intensely personal work, turning itself into an attempt to communicate with her beyond this world.
The installation is a work-in-progress version for a future performance in which we will send Ioana paper books and paper clothes we asked for from friends and collaborating artists, curators and fashion designers.
Julie Ault. Work by Matt Wolf.
Afterlife, Whitney Biennial 2014
Afterlife is a constellation of evidence and events that converse about disappearance and recollection. With various modalities, these artworks, artifacts, and texts activate and annotate the intricate relationship between archive and historical representation. In unison, Afterlife articulates a nexus of reference points, a cluster of concerns, a collection of contexts, and an amalgamated practice—artistic, curatorial, editorial, and archival.
If there is indeed such a thing as afterlife, the Chinese and Vietnamese might just be the richest people there. And that’s because their living relatives make sure they are well provided for – by throwing money into flames. Well, not real money. Only fake notes. This fake money is commonly known as ghost money, “Joss paper” and as ‘pinyin’ (literally ‘shade’ or ‘dark’ money) in Chinese. The ghost money, along with other papier-mâché items (usually expensive stuff) are burned as a part of Chinese tradition – on holidays to venerate the deceased, and also at funerals, to make sure that the spirits have plenty of good things in the afterlife.
It is indeed a remarkable cultural phenomenon that the paradigms associated with scientific rationalism still pervade contemporary academic understandings of ghost lore in ways that: 1) assert a dying tradition despite intense saturation into virtually all areas of vernacular and popular culture and 2) stress decline as society grows more educated and technological, despite ghostly belief and experience professed at all educational levels and engagement with the highest, most modern forms of technological development.