Danse Macabre (2018) is a wooden cottage made out of pallets. It is an attempt to concretize my fear of death. The cottage is a timeless bedroom, which is decorated with art and objects dealing the subject of death. The most important pieces, however, are two videos, Danse Macabre (02:05), which is projected on the wall, and The Play (00:37), which is projected on a wooden box near the floor. Through video, I am engaging in a surreal conversation with myself as a child, using my stuffed animal as a medium.

I am also taking a brief visit to a fearless scenario and studying it’s atmosphere. The fearless scenario is based on a few hours I experienced in the summer of 2016: I was in Sofia, in the backseat of an expensive car drove by some show-off Turkish doctoral student I had met earlier that day. He drove like a maniac, and I had no seat-belts. It was night-time, everyone had stepped outside, the city looked so beautiful and I laughed and shouted, because for the first time in my life, wasn’t afraid of dying. Eventually, the feeling wore off, but this experience was unforgettable. I felt like I was truly alive, for the first time, and I wanted to try to stage the experience and juxtapose it next to the fear.

Inside the room, there is a vanitas assembly, which consists of plastic fruits, playing cards, a candle, a clock, a small globe and a red, velvet-like cloth. On the nightstand, there is a captured lily and a hand-tied Ars Moriendi, that instead of being filled with text, has empty pages. The walls are covered with paintings and photographs that depict my fear of dying. Above on the bed, there lies my stuffed animal Heli, who also appears on both of the films.

Photos: Alisa Komendova