When we are being brought up, we are inevitably confronted with death, but since most people don’t like to deal with the concept of their own demise, the subject is mostly brushed aside rather quickly. It is often implied we should fear death or others try to indoctrinate us with concepts as heaven, hell and reincarnation. All over the world cultures have found a way to handle mortality, but in our Western civilization the subject is still often approached as a big taboo.
Every day we are confronted with death; when looking at the kitchen trash; when experiencing the survival reflexes when crossing a busy street and - in the worst case scenario - when we lose a friend or a family member. To a degree most of us suffer from thanatophobia. According to Martin, his art is about taking away those fears.
When I first saw the work “Painting and Singing Finger”, I was perplexed by the meditative soundscape that emerged from Mantje’s finger and the effect it had on my state of mind.
CELLS is not as much about art, nor is it about death. It’s about life. It’s a personal story about a hard struggle in a somewhat Kafkaesque system like our own, where certain ethical and moral issues are still very delicate subjects or even considered taboo, even though we live in the 21st century. Everybody has to cope with death and decay. That’s why this topic is universal and socially very relevant in my opinion. Our ‘soul’ and the continuum of ‘life and death’ – as themes of this film –are very important matters in contemporary art and art versus science in this world.
Every life inevitably leads to death. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s gruesome. Death is a natural part of life and it’s about transformation. This is unacceptable to many and that’s why CELLS is an interesting film. Black humor is the appropriate vessel to make this difficult and – for some – abstract issue accessible.
“Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having it’s own function and character, contributes to the whole” Pythagoras 569-475 BC
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