Week 7: Activity – Landscapes with a Corpse

Dead in the day...


When thinking of portraying my own corpse, many different ideas crossed my mind. Ultimately I was somewhat indecisive about how to show my own death, or rather what were plausible or fitting deaths for me. Given that I could not decide on a realistic image of my corpse, I chose to make a surreal one.

To set myself up for the picture, I put on the infamous horse mask and lay dead on my bathroom floor. And as an added touch, I held an empty wine bottle in my hand, alluding to my cause of death. Then with my Polaroid camera, I had a friend snap a picture of my corpse, cold and lifeless. I then had him snap another picture but this time without the flash on and with the bathroom lights turned off to get a darker tone for the image. I did this to mimic the sunlight as the day progressed, the first picture being brighter to mimic the day, and the second being darker to mimic the night, though both are essentially the same picture. I wanted to show the frozen, inanimate nature of the corpse as it lay their from day to night.

I chose to use this portrayal of my dead body for a few reasons. One, as I mentioned, was because I had difficulty deciding on a realistic death for myself. However, ultimately, I stuck with this image of my corpse given that it has a somewhat unique touch to it. In other words, it does not necessarily portray something out of reality but rather something that is more ambiguous, something that may displace someone from common notions, something unusual.

I found doing this activity to be rather interesting and enjoyable. I liked the premise of the activity which was to take a portrait of your own corpse rather than just a glorified selfie. However I especially liked how it allowed me to think creatively about various ways to portray a dead me, which ended up being a “horse corpse.”

...and still there at night.



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