This book is in collaboration with Montreal photographer Laure Marin. The conception of the work was derived from one photo, taken by Laure of a person named Jessica. The only thing I know about them is their name and her face. In my mind, they have passed on, and I have taken the responsibility of creating their wraith. Presented through a non-traditional artist book style, viewers are meant to read the process of Jessica’s physical form eroding into a ghostly, non-tangible being.
The installation of the work, was hung to rest above the average person’s head, sheltered by the book’s ‘cover’, 3 meters of translucent chiffon. Participants were asked to enter the space no more than 3 people at a time, to create an intimacy between the viewer and the work. Moreover, the work was presented in near darkness; I crafted torches/flashlights to not only immerse the viewer in the experience, but present them and their bodies agency within the piece. The goal is to have the audience walk through the piece and bask in the wraithing process. Finally, visitors are offered a mangled piece of black ribbon, to reference one of many Jewish mourning rituals; ripping ones clothes during the Shiva (first 7 days) mourning process.
As bodies move through the work, and read the book they are meant to speculate on the distorted imagery, and to contemplate the perhaps uncomfortable and distorted wraith process. Ultimately, the work is my visualization how the body breaks down in the afterlife, what the spirit looks like leaving the body and overall how a wraith can be envisioned.
I am overall quite please with how the work came out. Seeing it hung and occupy such a large space was quite satisfying. However, as this was essentially the first installment of the work there are a few changes I would consider making for the work’s next presentation. Primarily, the lighting could be adjusted for a more immersive dramatic effect. The concept of the “light at the end of the tunnel” is vital for me in this work. Next time, the light will be diffused and dimmer, to make the exploration process of the work more intimate. Subsequently, I am excited by the idea of having brighter torches for the viewer to use. This would not only make the path they chose clearer to them, but will also project stronger shadows onto the walls of the space. With this, the imagery would occupy more than just the page they are printed on, similarly to how a ghost can occupy multiple spaces at once.
Documentation by Laure Marin http://mxmarin.ca/