Tomb Projection: Take Two

Self Portrait with Six Skulls, detail

Self Portrait with Six Skulls, detail

Last night I packed up all my gear and headed back to the House Monument Tomb for one more kick at the projection can. This time, mindful of the darkness inside it, I brought candles to provide a bit more illumination for the piece and a flashlight to help me navigate through the rocky hills in the dark. I really like this venue a lot, but dragging all the stuff over there and being a bit worried that someone will come and bother me, means that it’s not the most comfortable experience. And, as darkness falls, the exposure time gets longer and longer (up to a minute each) and it is more difficult to get photos that are in focus. Even so, I love seeing the inside of the tomb and its contents lit up in the candlelight as darkness descends and the lights of the town, which can be seen out the tomb’s narrow doorway, get brighter and brighter. I worked for an hour and a half with two different projections, another version of Beyond the Flesh Dress and Self Portrait with Six Skulls.

Self Portrait with Six Skulls, detail
Self Portrait with Six Skulls, detail

Self Portrait with Six Skulls was the last thing I did at the Babayan Culture House in Ibrahimpasa before I left. Since I had become very enamored of my six silver skulls, and it had been a beautiful sunny day there (wonderful after the cold and snow), I wanted to do one final, final piece with them at the ruined cave house. From the many pictures that I took there I selected 24, to represent the 24 hours in a day (signifying a life time) to use for this projection. The series of 24 is divided into thirds, the separation between each section indicated by a photograph including an empty chair. Each of the three sections represents a third of a lifetime, youth, middle age, and old age. Since the photographs represent a passage of time, and were taken over a period of time, you will notice that the position of the sunlight and the parts of the objects illuminated change throughout the piece. When born, we emerge from the darkness and nonexistence; when dying, we descend into darkness and oblivion. Also, as the cliche says, with age comes wisdom. In this piece, wisdom is illustrated by an illuminated oil lamp.

The prone mannequins in their stony tomb remind me of Masaccio’s Trinity (1425) in Florence’s Santa Maria Novella church. For information on this fresco, click here.

See pictures of projections Self Portrait with Six Skulls here and Beyond the Flesh Dress here and photos of Self Portrait with Six Skulls here.