ExhibitionThe Fortune Teller

Curatoren: Heske ten Cate en Hanne Hagenaars

“I die, you pass away, he succumbs, we give up the ghost, you see the grass growing from beneath, they are parting.” (Octavio Paz)

We know that at some point we will die, but we never quite know when. A girl suffering from a fatal illness explains how she doesn’t like people talking about her life as being far too short. Surely a short life can be worth just as much as a long life? Once death is awaiting you, your perspective on life becomes different. The exhibition ‘The Fortune Teller’ is about being in limbo about after life.

The rituals surrounding death have slowly disappeared from our lives and when the time comes, we are not ready for it. There is a keen lack of preparation for death as a natural end to our life. These days we learn to fight: against diseases, against fear and ultimately against death. It’s a fight that we can’t win. This causes us even greater fear.

Conversations about death and dying have disappeared from our daily lives. We are confronted with death in the media, but practically always as a result of violence or famine. Partly because of this, ‘ordinary’ death has a tragic connotation. It is a former, disowned friend whose name we no longer mention.

Who is curiously looking forward to what death will bring? The fact that we do not know what will happen to us when we die is the largest uncertainty in human existence. It is also the most important catalyst for our actions. The Fortune Teller gives shape to precisely this uncertainty.