2005 – Burial park / Graves
Program New concept of burial park, new tombs
Team Eric Cassar
A cemetery is a place where dead people are buried.
It is a preservation place of dead people and of their memories for living. More than any other places it almost exclusively invites to memories. Cemetery is to remember. It gathers human bodies of another time.
It is a favoured (and unilateral) ‘meeting place’ for living and dead. Various temporalities are mixed, the inert past and the movement of the present (of life which goes on).
The idea is to shake the past, to inspire it with movement and to reposition life in the heart of death in order to break less the flow of time.
A cemetery is generally made of graves with steles.
Grave contains the coffin where the dead body is preserved. In the same way we wish to preserve pieces of the dead man life and give them to watch. To lock moments of past life up in order to create a dialogue between various temporalities: time of the livings which walk or visit and time of the dead. Dead proposes a piece of its life to living reminding him that life (a sine qua none of death) succeeds to life, in a circle without end… almost…
The process consists in adding a box to the one containing the body. This last box (the coffin) is in contact with the ground. The other box (a cubic or right-angled parallelepiped, approximately 50 to 60 cm), will be in contact with the air and the sky, fixed on the stele. It will lock up moments of dead man life.
The concept is composed of a box, with a door which can be opened ; inside this box there is a screen (standard flat screen).
Once the door opened it broadcasts one or several moments of the dead man life.
Taking into account the multiplication of the video cameras these last years, it is today very easy to find video images of everyone’s life. These life moments could be chosen by the man before he died or by his heirs after. In the case of couple video screen could broadcast images of both together. The images are stored in a mini hard disk (size of a USB key) -
These video films do not claim to represent the existence of the late. They are short film like tiny life elements that are locked up. They are released when someone open the door.
The outside of the box can be personalized by a color.
The box is fixed on the upper side of the stele. There is a small walkway along the tomb to approach. Everybody, no matter if he knew the late, can open the box and watch now (present) moments of the late life (past). When it is finished, the door is closed again, the video stops… to start again with the next opening.
The concept can be adapted to any cemetery; it only needs an electric connection near each grave.
When it is closed, the box protects the screen from bad weather; when it is opened, its depth avoids sunlight reflections on the diffused image. Its small size offers an intimate relationship between dead and living. It thus makes it possible to each visitor (even foreign with late) to discover (again) a sample of life, behind a name. It reintroduces life in the heart of death (end of another time life)…
With direct contact with the air and sky the box counterbalances with the coffin under the grave in the earth. It contains forever moment’s life representation in order to link the dead body to memories that are still alive…