Worldwide funeral rites are largely dictated by religion. But in the society the majority has no affiliation to any particular religion. There is a freedom to re-interpret the funeral rite the way one wants. The last farewell isn’t anymore about following the rites, but it rather is a transition towards a personalised experience, taking into account the lifestyle lead by the deceased. This project is a documentation of the possible customisation of the space where the ceremony takes place.
Nowadays we generally say our last farwell to the deceased in aulas of funeral homes of crematoriums. Visiting Hours shows how these spaces can be made personal. At first glance it could be mistaken for a theatre’s setting, but after a closer look certain details give away the true function of it. This ambiguity is emphasised by the usage of the lighting system found on site in order to create a dramatic atmosphere.
“An idea for this work came to me after stumbling upon photographs from my family archive, solely taken at the visiting hours of the deceased just before the burial. All of them took place at home of the deceased temporally transforming it into the space for grief, full of religious symbols. A natural curiosity arose to see the current state of affairs here in the Netherlands. This led me to visit a number of different funeral homes that proved to be quite far from what I expected it to be.”
Audrius Kriaciunas (1986) is born in Kaunas, Lithuania and lives presently in The Hague. He studies at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. Kriaciunas is interested in the relationship between space and function and then specifically in spaces like schools, offices and hospitals. De beholder is invited to reflect on society and how it functions.