Momento Mori

17/9/12 – Skull Makeup in the City: Filming Momento Mori 

On monday, I had put my acting skills to the test in one of my boyfriend’s media project at the Melbourne cemetery. The film, “Momento Mori”, features a businessman who wakes up in a graveyard, “Dave” does not know where he is until he finds a figure wondering in the distance.

The figure begins to walk directly to “Dave” who then begins to wonder why he is wondering around an empty graveyard. The figure, is undead who begins to point at the gravestone, although Dave begins to become exasperated by the figures lack of words or expressions.

I had agreed to play death and I had used my own makeup to create a representation of the skull. I decided to apply the makeup at the art studio at the university and I had then travelled to the other side of the city in a suit. I will not lie, I did get a lot of strange looks as I walked through the city with the image of the skull painted onto my face.

Actually I had received a lot of mixed responses, some people didn’t even care that I had tried to replicate death, others looked shocked or offended. The reactions that I had received on the day had invited me to question how one may define the subject of death? I don’t think there really is an answer, everyone has a completely different interpretation of death.

After the filming, I had decided to take photographs of myself in the cemetery and I actually look quite creepy. For some strange reason I did not feel uncomfortable or disturbed in the cemetery, it was quite peacful. After spending an entire day in the cemetery, it was quite a strange feeling to arrive back into the city.

So the main question that I wanted to ask myself is…did I feel any closer to death? I played death, replicated death, acted as death, but do I have a connection with death? I actually forgot that I had the makeup on my face and at some stage I had even forgot that I was playing death.

I must have some sort of connection with death, perhaps I haven’t found it yet. To a certain degree, everyone must be frightened or afraid of death that affects each person differently. On the way back to the city, a woman has approach me and she had said that my makeup looked really scary from the back of the tram.

It was actually quite interesting to see and hear all the different interpretations on the day. Some actually liked the makeup and others had given me a weird, disconcerted look. It would be interesting to actually film myself walking through the city with the makeup on my face just to see of the different responses and reactions.


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