“Headstones Undead Engines”

  • Birk Horst

Detail from "Headstones Undead Engines" by Birk Horst

“Headstones Undead Engines” is a new work by Birk Horst made for Kunsthal 44Møen. The artist has taken inspiration from his encounter with the many burial mounds scattered around the island of Møn. Like these “Headstones Undead Engines” deal with themes like death, ritual, memory and representation.

Horst ‘s headstone character seems itself to balance between life and death. As opposed to the traditional aesthetic of tombstones, the physical form here appears almost like a structure, light and short-lived – much like a theater prop. It consists of different materials, textures and surfaces, and incorporates a screen displaying an animated version of the headstone’s own life story in a sci-fi- dreamlike universe: starting from birth through a life course with different existential crises before it reaches recirculation. Throughout this story the gravestone seems to search for a higher purpose, a meaning.

How do we think about the forms to represent us in posterity? Which symbols lie behind it? The artist touches these complex and sensitive topics through the use of 3D animated film, sculpture, text and sound, spiced with lots of humor, absurdity and thoughtfulness.

Birk Horst (DK, 1989) graduated from Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2021, and “Headstones Undead Engines” is part of PS44 series of commissioned works by emerging artists. Every year an artist is selected from the graduation show of one of the Danish Art Academies.

PS44 is generously supported by Det Obelske Familiefond and the Danish Arts Council. Curated by Julia Rodrigues.