Happy Death

Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna, Austria, 2007

Happy Death is a project I created to challenge my fears of the unknown. This project relies entirely on the spontaneity and generosity of random people I meet in the streets. I first tried this in Vienna, a city I had never visited before. Dressed in a uniform which makes me appear more trustworthy and official, I approach strangers and encourage them to invite me to their private homes or offices to give me a piece of clothing and to tell me a story about the garment they are donating. All the collected garments are then sewn together to create a big web-like installation – just like the society web of people which grows around me through my interactions with my many new acquaintances.

But as it happens some times, we tend to make judgements about the identity of the people around us from what they wear. Thus the clothes become empty phantom shells, as we overlook their inner life. Through a performance I then demonstrate the liberation process of an individual that finds herself hopelessly trapped in the rigid structure she has created in her head about the world she lives in through labeling the people around her too hastily.