Photographs: Death is Certain by Eva Meyer-Keller © Hervé Véronèse

Death is Certain

by Eva Meyer-Keller

Around a hundred pedantically ordered kitchen utensils and DIY tools lie on a table. Next to them thirty-six cherries have been placed, arranged in an exact pattern.

The performer dressed in black calmly puts on a white apron, takes a cherry and removes its stalk. She selects a pack of dental floss and a roll of sticky tape. Placing both on a second table, she breaks off a long piece of floss, ties it around the cherry and sticks the other end to the corner of the table. For a short moment the cherry is left on the edge of the table and then the performer pushes it gently over the edge. The cherry's fall ends abruptly and it dangles in the air from the thread. Now it's the turn of the next cherry in the line. It is bound to a stone with the sticky tape and left to drown in a plastic cup full of water. The third suffers being quartered with white plastic hair grips. A bloodbath is left on the tablecloth. Number four is skinned, but that's not enough - a pinch of salt is strewn across its raw flesh...

One action follows the other: Blood flows, skin is ripped off, bodies explode, are squashed, electrocuted or burned. In Death is Certain Eva Meyer-Keller devises thirty-six mini scenarios of torture and execution which transform the small immaculate bodies of the fruit into figures that seem to increasingly identify themselves with human beings. Everyday household objects become agents of death and by the end the almost surgically clean table resembles the scene of a slaughter. The tableaux vivants play on the individual associations and collective memory of images from literary and film deaths as well as the mediated 'reality' of war and execution. With performative sensitivity and manual dexterity the cherries' demise become a screen the spectators project their fantasies onto. The everyday and the brutally spectacular in this way become reflections of one another. The demonstrably harmless turns into its opposite while at the same time an absurd and politically explosive comedy emerges, throwing the question of responsibility back at the audience's gaze.


Eva Meyer-Keller

Eva Meyer-Keller or Irina Müller, Hanna Sybille Müller, Christina Röfer

Eva Meyer-Keller 

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