by Nel Verbeke
“In the course of time we have successfully liberated ourselves from sti forms of tradition. Meanwhile something fundamentally human got lost along the way. Death and mourning are completely banned from an everyday perception. We bury our dead on the cemetery and try to hide our loss. Could a contemporary ritual actually support us throughout the process of mourning? Wouldn ́t it be revealing to have a visible sign for our mental state? e project ‘Ritual skin’ tries to uncover what is otherwise banned to a subconscious level. ere is a basic need for mourning, and this need has to be poured into a form.
When we are going through the process of loss we are gradually trying to detach from a person. e mourning clothes “ritual skin” try to propose a ritual form for the process of mourning. Over time we can go through states of solitude, depression or anger and slowly we arrive a more distant position. Starting with a drastic interpretation of a modern form of ritual clothing ‘Ritual skin’ tries to describe the process by three aspect:
Dissolving: the rst shock of loss is a sudden and very emotional moment. A thin layer of textile dissolves just by beweeping the ones we’ve lost.
e peeling: there is a very conscious and deliberate part in detaching from a person. Step by step we are peeling away a skin of leather from our shoulders.
The monument: in the end a monument in the form of warm wooden shell is decently remaining, as we can never overcome a loved person.
In the best case “ritual skin” can be seen as starting point to implement a new form of ritual consciousness.”