Over the past six months, Serena Korda‘s Laid to Rest project has involved the assembly of a large pallet of bricks containing everyday household dust, as part of our Dirt exhibition. This Sunday, it all ends with the ceremonial procession and burial of the bricks – and you’re invited. Serena explains how a very dirty job is coming to an end…
“Dust, Dust, Dust ah ah ah ahaaaaaaa,” the mythical marching band sing in a frenzied chant over the brick stack at the centre of Laid to Rest. Their hysteria highlights the absurdist procedure of collecting 500 dust samples from people, places and institutions around the world. The collection process has been immense and at times grueling, challenging my own latent obsessive compulsive disorder. Realising that however romantic dust seems (so often used by artists as a signifier for memory, transience and mortality), when you are collecting other people’s it becomes like any other kind of dirt, creating the same human response of repulsion. At the beginning people thought I was pulling their leg, phoning up to see if I could come dust their institution and make it into a brick. Then people started sending in donations from as far away as Peru and Canada. Their contents varied from everyday household dust to loved ones’ ashes, making the process of mixing the donations in to the clay one of commemoration and ritual.
Now we have arrived at the finale of Laid to Rest. This is the celebration of a very collective experience, from dust collection, to firing the bricks, to presenting them at the Wellcome Collection during Dirt. I hope that you will join me to witness the procession and burial of the brick stack. Follow the mythical marching band, dancers and heavy horses as they travel from Wellcome Collection to Brunswick Square Gardens Bloomsbury, where a layer of the bricks will be ceremoniously buried.
There will be 300 limited edition commemorative publications, including the ‘Laid to Rest’ soundtrack on 12” vinyl, to give away.
Please meet us on the corner of Endsleigh Gardens and Taviton Street, NW1 (just behind the Wellcome Collection — see this Google map), for the start of the procession at 3pm this Sunday 18 September 2011.
Serena Korda’s Laid to Rest was funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of the Dirt Season. Find out more about Serena’s work on her website: www.serenakorda.com.