Mausoleum for the Image
“The individual no longer belongs to God, to himself, to his beloved, to his art or to his science, he is conscious of belonging in all things to an abstraction, just as a serf belongs to an estate.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Present Age: A Literary Review (1846)
The ever changing imagery of our virtual self has weakened our presence in the reality. We change our bodies, our faces, we change our beliefs our professions and opinions, we change the substance of ourselves, until the point where it is no longer possible to say who we really are. Who is Madonna? Who is that banker or politician? Who is a person whose contact I have on my social network? My childhood friend? Who are they now and who were they?
Which symbols can be used to represent the totality of our lives? It is hard or even impossible to find a meaningful connective narrative to explain the random collection of events and changes that constitute our lives. Our lives are no longer coherent and linear, they are fragmented and diffused.
The imagery that we have become is a reproducible commodity. It spreads and recycles itself indefinitely. A real person or the physical carrier of the iconic concept is for this reproduction irrelevant. We make new songs out of our graves, we act in the movies and we write books. A real death, a definitive “game over”, has almost become a utopian dream.
“And this is the simple truth – that to live is to feel one lost. He who accepts it has already begun to find himself, to be on firm ground. Instinctively, as do the shipwrecked, he will look around for something to which to cling, and that tragic, ruthless glance, absolutely sincere, because it is a question of his salvation, will cause him to bring order into the chaos of his life. These are the only genuine ideas; the ideas of the shipwrecked. All the rest is rhetoric, posturing, farce.”
Søren Kierkegaard, The Sickness Unto Death (1849)
The Mausoleum for the Image is a tomb for a digital persona. It is a labyrinth, made out of its loosely connected fragments. A visitor is invited to enter this space and explore the parts out of which the life of the deceased was made of. Making their way through the labyrinth, one constructs a totality (that perhaps never existed) of the life of the deceased. The mausoleum gives its visitors an opportunity to part from their beloved one, by allowing them to individually reconstruct the random particles of their Image into a real person. Filtered through personal and ephemeral interpretations of the people, the Image is detached from the reality, thus setting the “physical carriers of its iconic concept” free to vanish in the reality.
Monumental Masonry Competition Entry
Monumental Masonry is a collaboration between Bompas & Parr and Sir John Soane’s Museum and called for architects and designers to create epic monuments
in a magnificent celebration of death.