Icelandic Artist Collaborates With Corpses for Macabre Performance

Photo: via Facebook/ Snorri Asmundsson.

On July 6 on Facebook, Icelandic artist Snorri Ásmundsson made an interesting request: “Looking for dead bodies in the name of the art. 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 performance piece will involve the artist “dancing with the body,” according to Hyperallergic, “as soon as possible after the person’s death to raise a number of intrusive questions.” His intentions are to have the piece last no longer than an hour, after which he will return the corpse.

People have begun to contact Ásmundsson, but none are dying soon, so the artist has declined their offers. The voluntary aspect of this project is very important to the artist, who says he will only agree to use someone’s body if they consent to its use pre-mortem.

Ásmundsson told local Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið, “You can go to China or Mexico and buy a body, but I have no interest in that. 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.”

The artist has also hired a lawyer who will prepare contracts with any volunteers.

“In the legal sense, I’m on the right side of the law,” he said. “I’ve never heard of this being illegal, and then again, I’ve never heard of this being done before.”

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics