Through the funeral project I wished to finish a long phase of my life which started with the traumatizing event of my father’s death 10 years ago, continued long after with one therapy after the other and a search for a balanced life without recurring depressions and dysfunctional relationships.

Shortly before my funeral I started to look for a method, which would provide me with an experience of death and rebirth in my soul, without of course actually dying. I hoped this way I would make my peace with death and loss.


It had to be something mentally and physically challenging, where at least a certain amount of  my fears could surface in a situation where I could not run away. It took a little time however to get lucky. Sweat lodges turned out to be less  challenging than a sauna, the Ayahuasca I came across never actually kicked in. Finally I got lucky with liquid acid which I took in a performance installation where I had to lie naked without moving meanwhile people could eat fruits from my body.


There it happened as the acid kicked in: I remember that I don't remember, that there was fear followed by utter darkness, and as I came back I thought to myself: I just died and came back to life.

I tried to recreate this experience in an event, to share it with an audience, and this way turn it into a public ritual-performance. This is why my funeral had to happen.


The idea was to lie naked in an open casket (again on an acid trip for deeper perception) meanwhile my “friends” all hold a goodbye speeches and reflected on me as a deceased person.

Later the audience could approach the casket and react to my dead body as they wished.


To add to the  morbid atmosphere the guests were invited to to bring food and wear black fantasy, fetish and crossdressing outfits to play the funeral game and create together a deep space for letting go of all what is old and not needed, all which has to die.


The funeral was held on the 28th May 2014 in Schwelle 7, Berlin.


Photography by Roger Rossell, Subuddha Dadaware, Claudia Brijbag

Bodypaint: Sabine Kelka and Julia Pandit

Sound: Alex Pastore

Coffin made by Edward Mccaughan

© 2015 Borbála Szente. All Rights Reserved.

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