Expo : (Re)design Death
February 10th 2020 ’till January 24th 2021 – Cube design museum, Kerkrade (NL)
One of this year’s highlights took place on the evening of February 10th; that Monday evening we celebrated the opening of ‘(Re)design Death’, the first exhibition I’d been working on as a MarCom Teamleader for Cube design museum.
(Re)design Death shows contemporary design around death and dying. It’s a beautiful and very tasteful exhibition that displays about 50 objects in four consecutive themes – praparation, saying goodbye, mourning and living on, eternal life – to show how designers give substance to the needs and rituals around death. A rather intense topic and even though we all, sooner of later, get to deal with death and dying, many of us prefer not think or talk about it at all.
But if death and dying is so natural, why not make it a bigger part of our lives? Doesn’t the very fact that we someday will be death, make our life so precious and valuable? Interesting questions that might come to mind while wandering through the exhibition.
(Re)design Death and COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only one month after the opening of the exhibition, The Netherlands went into this year’s first lock down and like many other public places, museums had to close their doors. Soon museums started to offer online programs in addition to their exhibitions. And although at first we felt quite hesitant to highlight an exhibition about death, at the same time we had to face a new reality in which some of the objects from our exhibition could be exceptionally useful. Within a couple of weeks, some of the displayed projects that at first had seemed to be science fiction, could be used in our new reality. Also we were wondering whether our new reality could offer the opportunity for breaking taboos and changing traditions when it comes to saying goodbye, dying, mourning and commemoration?
A filmseries about our exhibition
We had to build a bridge between the reality outside of the museum and the solutions some of the objects could provide for the outside world and we decided to shoot a filmseries of 7 short videos filmed by Douglas Robson, presented by our host Marina, in which we highlight several objects from the exhibition that might shine a different light on dealing with the consequences of the pandemic. Varying from ‘The end of life care machine’ by Dan Chen (an installation that explores the possibility of intimacy without humanity by replacing a human presence by a robot, to comfort someone who’s sick or even dying) to ‘Tolad-one’ by Tolad (a special stick that scatters ashes while walking a route). Thanks to the videos people can ‘visit’ our exhibition, whether we’re in lockdown or after the enddate has passed. If you’d like to watch all seven videos, go to the Cube design museum-website.
first video of the film series about (Re)design Death and COVID-19, by Douglas Robson Films
Unfortunately, the pandemic will not be overcome within the next couple of months, and we might have to close our doors more often. But if all goes according to plan, ‘(Re)design Death’ can be visited until January 24th 2021 at Cube design museum in Kerkrade.