February - June 2015, Brussels
SCHOOL LA CAMBRE
An active ritual that makes sense for survivals
Chocked by the business of death and the price of graves, I wanted to find a new solution for cemetery parcels. Half of the Belgian population is still choosing burial. Not for eternity anymore, though. Too many people, not enough space.
Watching the different type of graves, I wondered why graves were always made of stone? To accept disappearing, death, and mourning is to accept the changing world and the time passing. Is changeless stone, then really appropriate? Aren't there any other possibilities?
Why do we always stand passively in front of a grave? Funeral rituals are made for survivals, how could comemorative moments suit them better?
The first function of the memory is not to remember
A grave is a commemoration place. It's a place to forgather and to share memories. It’s a remembrance place.
From a neuroscientific point of view, the first function of the memory is not to remember, but to forget. If you cannot forget, you cannot remember either. It is a natural and automatic phenomenon. Memory is not as changeless as stone. To keep remembering, an effort is needed. This project illustrates this cerebral effort and the way the world goes. Time flies and memories could do too. This grave needs that the visitor re-activate the memory of the deceased by stamping his name in the sand.
In the opposite of flowers that we bring to a specific person's grave, this new ritual can be accomplished by anybody passing by who wants to preserve and respect the memory of the past.
A commemorative seat
People could invite strangers or parents to share memories and seats.
A fragile glass
This precious and fragile grave would be likely to break at any time, just like a life.
A depopulated world
"Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated" (Alphonse de Lamartine)
Inside this white sphere, you'll see the name of the deceased and emptiness. A manner to materialize a depopulated world.
to feel at one with your ancestors.
A place to "rest in peace"
with the deceased
Why do we always stand passively in front of a grave?
Why should commemoration be sad?
This grave enables to commemorate by relaxing in a hammock.
A grain of rice
In Japan, being able to write a name on a rice grain is an artistic know-how. This grave would be a glass half sphere containing a grain of rice with the deceased' name written on. The magnifier effect of the curved glass enables to read the name on one side but not on the other one. An object to relativize our big feelings and to distance from mourning.