Passing Places Videos

Much of my practice is making installations and interactive performances to which people can bring deep parts of themselves privately to a group aesthetic outcome, or making transformative performances and environments.  We are all going to transform in the same way at the end of life and currently I am currently developing an inter-disciplinary body of work exploring pre and post-mortem liminality. We are deeply invested emotionally and often financially in the memorialization of our dead and toil to make the place and circumstance of memorialization beautiful, dignified and meaningful for ourselves, and the memory of our loved ones. Less effort is spent on the place of dying. What kind of sensory environment might be compelling as a place to die?

I am making a series of passing places: sound, film, performance, and installation works, based on the physical, social, and metaphysical events of death. Some of these environments are only captured in film, and some will be mobile environments that can roll into hospice, hospital, and home situations.

Ausklingen (Fade Away)

The installation transforms the Reading Room at the Veste Coburg, in Coburg, Germany, into an intimate space of glass, sound and emotions. The room becomes a giant musical instrument. Visitors are invited to sit, to think, to rest and gently to play the thousands of glass chimes that transform this contemplative space. This installation hung in the Veste Coburg from September 2018-March 2019. Ausklingen (Fade Away) is teh first public installation in my series of passing places.

I spent four years making thousands of icicles for this installation. They are all flameworked borosilicate glass and they are all hollow. The length, width, and volume of air inside determines the pitch of each icicle. I sell similar ones in my shop.

Ausklingen (Fade Away)

drift

Drift is a three screen moving image work, here reduced to one screen. Part of my "Passing Places" body of work which seeks to answer "What would be a compelling environment in which to die? Drift was first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Summa, RSA Residencies Exhibition in May-July 2017. With many thanks to and support from The Royal Scottish Academy and Creative Scotland. Drift is the first of five videos in that exhibition.
Filmed by: Carrie Fertig and Rob Page
Sound: Carrie Fertig and Rob Page
Edit: Carrie Fertig

drift

Nyx

Nyx is also part of my "Passing Places" body of work which seeks to answer "What would be a compelling environment in which to die? Nyx was first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Summa, RSA Residencies Exhibition in May-July 2017. With many thanks to and support from The Royal Scottish Academy and Creative Scotland. Nyx is the second of five videos in that exhibition.
Filmed by: Carrie Fertig
Edit: Carrie Fertig
Sound: Ronald Binge: Sailing By, performed by Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

Nyx

Last Light

One key resource for my passing places project is Gone From My Sight, The Dying Experience, a widely used booklet within hospice in the United States that explains the signs of approaching death, by Barbara Karnes, RN. Part of this overall project is to visualize these signs. One of these signs is a sudden surge of energy manifesting itself as a desire for social interchange after days of disassociation from the outside world. I see this as the last light emanating from the dying person. This film Last Light, is the first work from this series.


Thanks to Patricia Niemann for her performance, The Royal Scottish Academy, for their Residencies for Scotland Bursary, Creative Scotland for their support, and North Lands Creative Glass, where this was filmed whilst on residency there.

Last Light was first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Summa, RSA Residencies Exhibition in May-July 2017. Last Light is the third of five videos in that exhibition.
Filmed by: Carrie Fertig
Sound: Carrie Fertig
Edit: Carrie Fertig

Last Light

am I dead yet?

This sudden surge of energy can manifest itself in many ways and sometimes it can be full of anxiety. "Am I dead yet?" is a direct quote from someone close to me who said this repeatedly on their deathbed. This film is the second work from this series.
Made with support from the Royal Scottish Academy. Supported by Creative Scotland.

Filmed by Rob Page
Sound: Carrie Fertig
Edit: Carrie Fertig

am I dead yet?

fin

The last sign which happens minutes before death, is breathing like a fish out of water. The fish in Fin was temporarily taken from a bucket on a boat of a friend who was catching bait for his lobster pots. Although the film is longer, I filmed the fish for nineteen seconds.

The music is derived from the German hymn Herzlich Tut Mich Verlangen. I selected it nearly randomly as it seemed perfect for the film; only later did I discover that the first line translates as “I do desire dearly a blessed end”.

Filmed by: Carrie Fertig
Sound: J.S. Bach/Walton: Herzlich Tut Mich Verlangen, BWV 727, performer: Angela Hewitt
Edit: Carrie Fertig
Fin was first exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Summa, RSA Residencies Exhibition in May-July 2017. With many thanks to and support from The Royal Scottish Academy and Creative Scotland. Fin is the last of five videos in that exhibition.

fin

© 2020 CARRIE FERTIG

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