A performance on the site of a half-built, subterranean concrete well. Bringing together professional mourners, the piece immerses viewers in laments, rituals and other expressions of loss.
Within a monumental setting, Taryn Simon’s An Occupation of Loss combines performance, sound, and architecture to consider the anatomy of grief and the intricate systems we use to manage the abstract certainty of death.
Each night, professional mourners simultaneously broadcast their lamentations, enacting rituals of grief. Their sonic mourning is performed in recitations that include northern Albanian laments, which seek to excavate “uncried words”; Venezuelan laments, which safeguard the soul’s passage to the Milky Way; Greek Epirotic laments, which bind the story of a life with its afterlife; and Yezidi laments, which map a topography of displacement and exile.