Forget Donating Organs. Donate A Body to Dance.

by on August 4, 2015
Photo Credit: Priscilla Frank

Photo Credit: Priscilla Frank

   Say what you will, but Icelandic artist Snorri Asmundsson has tenacity and an unfaltering creative aura, to be sure. He is currently looking for a participant, close to dying or likely terminally ill, to participate in his newest, borderline morbid dance piece. In an open letter to the Facebook world, he writes: “I need a corpse for a video installation. If you are dying I would like to borrow your remains after you die. The body will be returned to the undertaker in the ‘same’ condition. Sincerely Snorri Asmundsson.” The art world moves in leaps and bounds when it comes to pushing the creative envelope.

   As can be expected, he has received a fair bit of backlash for his inquiry, with responses that accuse him of plotting to do something “disgusting” with the bodies. In assurance that this is not some publicizing of a dark fetish, Asmundsson counters, “I’m not that kind of morally corrupt. I want to do this piece in collaboration with the dead, not in the least out of respect for him and his family.”

   What kind of questions will this raise within the piece? Would a freshly deceased performer of a dance piece distract from the other elements of the show? What will the dynamic of the audience be? How does the potential family feel about seeing their loved one being a part of choreography? Should the show go through, there will surely be some answers.