This project came to be from a big idea: how do people memorialize themselves in public spaces?
It's got a lot of layers, really; people can memorialize themselves in thousands of types of spaces, in thousands of different ways, and, for the time crunch I had for this project, it wasn't going to happen very easily.
Thus, I narrowed the idea: how do people memorialize themselves in places of death?
In Western Culture, when it comes to cemeteries or memorials, you're supposed to be silent and reverent: don't touch the graves; don't stand on top of the dead; don't run, or make loud noises. There are so many unspoken regulations within cemeteries, but these regulations do not seem to apply to celebrities' graves. When it comes to people like Jim Morrison or Abelard and Heloise of the Pere Lachaise cemetery, these rules do not apply. The head of the Pere Lachaise cemetery has made an effort to prevent those fans of these people from doing anything to destroy the integrity of the graves, or to make the site any more "messy" or "filled with garbage" as it is. A fence has been erected around Jim Morrison's grave, for instance, and a guard is posted by the area in order to protect the space. It's hard to see, perhaps, that a lot of these actions and objects are tributes from fans, but there are also "memorials" that fans have made of themselves - spaces where they write their names and the date on something, for instance - to prove to other fans (or themselves) that they were there.
Tributes: The question of tributes is a fascinating one, because how is one memorializing themselves by leaving flowers for someone else? For the purposes of this project, tributes such as flowers and notes for the deceased are going to be included in memorializing, because in the act of leaving something special for the dead, the "giver" is depositing a bit of themselves at the site.
I've asked myself the following questions for this piece:
1. What is the content in these "memorials"? (Do people write notes, sign their names, etc?)
2. How do they do it? In other words, what form do these "memorials" take?(Paper, biodegradable things, etc.)
3. Where are the places of most memorializing? In other words, what places have the most traffic when it comes to self-memorializing?
4. Why do people memorialize themselves in places of death?
5. Can tributes be contained in this case?
And the results were incredible. Check them out.