A Crack in the Hourglass, collective mourning in the sands of time


How many lives have been lost to the pandemic? For most of us, it’s just a big number (global, national, local) that increases daily. The perception of this huge loss changes when we see the faces of the dead, and yet, because there are so many and the pictures portray them in good health, it remains unfathomable. Friends and relatives are not even allowed to attend funerals, which makes it even more absurd. Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has addressed this social black hole in grief in his “A Crack in the Hourglass.” He invites participation by sending a text and a picture of the deceased, which is then assembled by a robotic device, and, once finished, is tilted and slides away. The unnatural isolation is alleviated with this process documented in videos that are both collective and transitory, yet present and visually close.