This project proposes to a selection of individuals from different relational demographics to dress and be dressed for death.
The invitation to “Dress for Death” was delivered to 5 different individuals in varying relationships in which they will dress and be dressed for death. Three responded.
Long term partners
The participant is dressed and photographed lying horizontal in their chosen outfits.Additionally each dress is photographed in the absence of the body. Each individual – ‘dressee’ and ‘dressor’ have written a statement as to why they have dressed each other in this way.
The final presentation has only the images of the outfits (bodies absent) arranged on dress hangers and displayed on three clothes rack. Accompanying the images are text grabs derived from the commentary provided by each ‘dressee ‘.and dressor’ and the following three sentences.
My brother dresses me, I dress myself.
My partner dresses me, I dress myself.
My wife dresses me, I dress myself.
The project highlights personal similarities and differences in burial ritual and concerns around care, individual and collective identity and mechanisms of coping with departure through the practice of adorning the corpse.The viewer can have a connection to the work because of a universal human interest in adornment and separately the relationship we have to mortality.
The success of the work is in its understatement - the knowledge dress is chosen with a final act of departure in mind.