THE SILENT LANGUAGE OF GRIEF
Life can be very hard and crewel, especially when we loose the people we love most. The tears we shed in these moments, are often the words that our heart can’t speak. Feelings that can’t be expressed are then expressed by our tears, they are the silent language of grief.
Early In the morning of 16 April 2016 I read trough several e-mails while having breakfast, one of the e-mail subject lines “In memory of Mathieu Trudel” caught my eye. It was sent by Takami Nakamoto.
Hope you are doing great! I wanted to ask you a question,
are you open to do a music video collaboration?
I was really amazed by your “Imaginarium of Tears” project that I saw in Kuwait this year at REUSE, and was thinking about doing a music video with you as a collaboration.
I want to do this collaboration because my friend from Canada is missing for the last 3 weeks. He disappeared one day without saying anything to anyone, which was surprising I’ve been talking to his closest friends but there is unfortunately no update about him, I guess the only thing left is to wait for news.
My idea of the collaboration is that I will do the music production, on top of the crystallisation video’s of the tears you have made. I already started composing a track dedicated to him, maybe he is out there, just hiding from everyone
This news is affecting me a lot, and I thought about your project Imaginarium of Tears immediately since this is what your project is about. Capturing genuine moments in life by crystallising the tears of these moments and turning them in to art.
Having read the message I could imagine the feelings Takami must have been going through, not knowing where one of his friend was, or if he would still be alive. I instantly replied with a YES, since this relayed directly to the concept underpinning the Imaginarium of Tears project.
There were other benefits too;
By working together and helping each other out as artists we could combine our visions, ideas and passions and sculpt them in something that is created from the heart, not only by passion but also out of pure emotion… Creating potentially, something that had never been done before
In this case the combination of our visions, ideas and passion could result in something I had wanted to do for a long time, combine the clips created from the crystallisation of tears, with a uniquely composed musical piece.
In this case it would even become more than that. By combining and capturing these emotions and feelings using different media there was also the strong possibility that they would intensify one-another. With the combination I’m talking about:
- The feelings and emotions of Takami experienced with the loss of Mathieu represented in the musical composition.
- The actual tears (unspoken words) Takami cried through his grief, captured and filmed through a microscope.
The emotions of a tragic event like this should not be forgotten. By together working on a music video collaboration, we can turn the tears and memories of Takami’s it to something Mathieu could be remembered by for eternity.
A few days later the headlines stated that:
Mathieu Trudel’s body found at Petrie Island, police say
The body of Mathieu Trudel, a 37-year-old illustrator from Ottawa who had been missing since March 2, was found at Petrie Island on Friday, police confirm.
With our worst fears confirmed, Takami and I decided to meet the next day in The Hague. The next day Takami arrived on the Thalys train from Paris.
Takami and I had met one another just a month before in Kuwait during the Reuse festival, where we both presented our work. Takami had presented installations and was performing with Noemi Shipfer as NONOTAK. I was there presenting a live version of Imaginarium of Tears. It was here we met.
So how did we make the music video?
The proces of creating “Where is Mawt “ In Memory of Mathieu Trudel.
This video is a composition created from Takami’s tears. Over time Takami shed 2 to 3ml of tears in total that where then stored in eppendorf reaction tubes. Small drops (1 to 5mm) were placed on several microscopic slides. These slides were then placed directly under the microscope and recordings were made while the crystallisation process took place (between 5 and 30 minutes). We made more then 50 recordings. The tears could only be used for a small period of time (max 2 hours), it was necessary for Takami to “produce” more tears once the reaction tube was empty or when we exceeded the time period of 2 hours.
While I was focusing on recording the crystallisation process under the microscope, Takami used the feed to directly edit the recordings to the music. The first draft quickly showed us the direction this collaboration would take. The film above is the result of our first collaboration. In the future we hope to collaborate further and see if we together can bring our works to the next level.
More technial information:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III
Microscope: Nikon Diaphot TMD
Technique: Dark field Illumination
Enlargements: 62,5x, 100x, 250x up to 500x times