June 2021, Dance Week Festival Zagreb, ZPC, Croatia
Death is not behind the cover, it is the cover itself.
Thinking about death is shifted into the future, as far as possible. Even if it is talked about, it is just a quiet reflection of it. Questions are avoided. Even the word itself is avoided. Perceived almost as an incompatible mess within our vision of general progress, it has been reduced to rapidly changing figures.
As a religious, philosophical, cultural, anthropological, and even as a worldview phenomenon, it remains within a taboo that is being confirmed through the mystification of the dying process itself, as well as everything mysterious that happens after it. As a result of a culture of rejection and forced removal of the presence of death, there comes to a point of institutionalization and bureaucratization of the body which is faced with its end.
The concept of Jasna Layes Vinovrški in collaboration and performance of Koraljka Begović takes the dancer’s body as a starting research perspective – a type of body usually discussed in terms of agility, strength, and activity. By bridging this body into a relationship with intimate experiences such as illness and dying, and combined with interviews with psychologists, coroners and undertakers, the attitude towards understanding the complexity of the body that remains on the margins of the private and the public is changed. To whom does the_right to a body_belong? Why is the whole process before the ritual of the funeral still in the domain of the “invisible”? How does the absence of a dying body affect the grieving process? By establishing the first contact with questions we rarely dare to ask, both ourselves and the people whose professions are tightly related to death, this performance aims to understand how the taboo came about in the first place. Moreover, it aims to achieve a different attitude towards death through evaluating the body – not only within the prism of health, but throughout all of its stages in life.