Exhibition view „HAFEN“: Mark&Garry, Crib - First Site Gallery, Melbourne (2013)
Exhibition view „HAFEN“: GOETHE‘S QUILL, Color - Panels, Mark&Garry - First Site Gallery, Melbourne (2013)
The last resting place has been used as a theme in literature and the arts for centuries, often it has also been a taboo. My approach to the work Mark&Garry was a moment of insight not too long ago, when I realized that in most modern cemeteries graves plots are no longer dug by hand but instead my industrial mechanical means. I held a romantic view that graves for people were also dug by the hands of people.
In the video one of the gravediggers illustrates this romantic misconception when he makes the comment: `Normally, it doesn‘t look like this in the movies`. Here the false conclusion of my romantic approach and the real situation becomes apparent. Hence, the video shows the contemporary process of digging a grave, executed by the two gravediggers Garry and Mark at Melbourne Central Cemetery.
The working individuals are actually never shown, but only the work, or the machines doing the work, respectively. There is a stark contrast between the precise measuring of the grave on the one hand and the brute digging of the hydraulic shovel on the other. Tranquility and noise, precise work and brute digging alternate in this windy and quiet cemetery setting.
However, statements such as `I don‘t like being watched while doing this` reveal the fact that the apparently deritualized work of digging a grave really still is and probably will remain a difficult and rather personal, burden of human work.