It’s been awhile, friends.
I’ve been doing a lot of research and writing on death practices, the occult, and the act of possession (not like I wasn’t before, but even more so now). It’s made me realize that the art I’ve created in response to my grandfather’s death, initially coming from a place of fear and emptiness, has inspired a more loving relationship with death and the afterlife. To share the love of good death relationships, I wanted to post some pieces from Harboring Darrell, the three-part installation I made toward the end of grad school, in Danielle Vogel’s class, because it was the first time I created art that explicitly spoke of my grandfather’s death: allowing me to start the healing process.
The installation includes a funeral, an altar, and a collaborative offering in remembrance of my grandfather, Darrell. It is a companion piece to my project Helene, acting as a direct attempt to move beyond the self experiencing grief and focus purely on the process of grieving. Participants of Harboring Darrell are asked to mourn with me as they view a previously filmed funeral given for Darrell’s boots, interact with an altar created in replication of Darrell’s living room, and leave behind their own memories of loss as they fill out the “Harboring Darrell Questionnaire” and place it in the Box of Offerings.
Pictures of the altar and Box of Offerings.
Thanks for reading. If you’re also interested in the topics of death, the occult, and possession, here are three books that I recommend:
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
Occult America: Secret History of How Mysticism Shaped Our Nation by Mitch Horowitz
The Mind Possessed: A Physiology of Possession, Mysticism, and Faith Healing by William Sargant