home of eternity

pine wood, pigmented linsed oil,
Prague Quadrennial 2019

home of eternity


Judaism in its religion and tradition prescribes a dignified burial. As soon as possible after death, the dead shall be buried in the ground. Cremation is considered unclean and unnatural. The dead are wrapped in a white linen cloth and placed in a plain coffin without metal objects. Metal or metal objects represent destruction, war and violence.
 The deceased should become one with the ground as soon as possible.
Unlike Christian cemeteries, Jewish cemeteries have no resting periods and exhumation is prohibited. The dead are to be given eternal rest. In case of limited space, another layer of soil is laid over the grave and buried „one on top of the other“.
In Hebrew, the cemetery is called ןימלע-תיב, which means „house of eternity.“ Instead of flowers, people place stones on the grave because they do not wither.

Jewish burial sites in the form of mass graves and ash fields are spread and scattered across fields, meadows and forests throughout Europe.
Today these cemeteries and memorials are places of tourism. Can one speak of eternal peace?

This work emerged from an exploration of the term „camp“ and was exhibited in the collaborative-walk-in installation 51°03’11.3 „N 13°45’36.3 „E at the Prague Quadrennial 2019. In the process, the artist explored memorial sites, mass graves, necropolitics, and Jewish burial forms and rites. Along Jewish traditions and German classicism, the artist built a classical German coffin held together only with wooden joints without any use of metal. The calculation and realization of the funnel joints took weeks of handwork. The coffin was built for those many people who never received and will never receive a dignified burial according to their beliefs and wishes. As a metaphor, it culminates in remembrance, appreciation and respect.
The coffin was located in the middle of a narrow dark room. Every visitor could take stones and put them on the coffin. The stones are taken from the banks of the Elbe-River, whose eternal movement symbolizes the eternal migration of Jews and the Diaspora. The room was unlighted except for a beam of light that shined from a small upward hatch in the ceiling, indicating a shaft. The room offered a place of rest throughout the installation.

Home of eternity, pine wood, pigmented linsed oil, Prague Quadrennial 2019

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