02. December 2023 – 03. March 2024
Opening: 1. December 2023 | 06:00 pm
Tina Ruisinger's photographs show us what remains of the human body after cremation. They are sensitive images of 50 human ashes as well as large-format portraits of objects that usually had a medical use for the deceased during their lifetime. The exhibition will open on December 1 at the Museum for Sepulchral Culture.
Born in Stuttgart in 1969, photographer Tina Ruisinger has been working in the fields of reportage, portraiture and dance photography since the early 1990s. Her work also includes interdisciplinary art projects. Dealing with the finite nature of life is of great importance here. As part of an unusual project, she 'portrayed' the human remains after cremation.
The "50 Ashes" cycle, which the Museum for Sepulchral Culture was able to purchase for its collection, consists of photographs showing human ashes and implants such as pacemakers or artificial joints. Tina Ruisinger's interest was also piqued by items that were included in the cremated remains, such as glasses, pocket knives and golf clubs. As a first step, she photographed the complete remains, which are technically collected on a grate in the lower part of the cremation oven. The variety of views of the supposedly always the same material of bone remains and ashes is surprising: in form and color, a supposed individuality of the cremated remains appears. Are these projections of the viewer, who knows that these are the ashes of 50 people who were cremated in their coffins? Or does this not actually reveal the uniqueness of each individual in their remains?
Photographs of implants
In addition to the 50 ashes, Tina Ruisinger has also photographed implants. Against a black background, the objects freed from ashes float like unknown objects from foreign cultures. Some of them reveal their original function, while others actually appear to be finds from archaeological excavations or even extraterrestrial civilizations.
"What remains of the end" is a sensual and aesthetic journey into the world of cremation. It is both a documentation and a cabinet of curiosities. It is a phenomenological inventory of an everyday practice without depicting technical processes. Tina Ruisinger took a close look with her cameras and lenses in order to objectify what highly subjective suffering and individual grief means for the people affected by the death of a loved one.
Tina Ruisinger, born in Stuttgart in 1969, studied at the Hamburg School of Photography, the International Center of Photography in New York and the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 1992, she has worked as a freelance photographer in the fields of reportage, portraiture and dance, as well as on interdisciplinary artistic projects using photography, video, sound and text. Her work has always focused on people in their vitality, impermanence and mortality. The book "Traces - eine Spurensuche" (2017), for example, tells of the things that are left behind when a person dies. Ruisinger has won numerous prizes and scholarships and has shown her work internationally in both solo and group exhibitions. Since 2018, she has increasingly been working artistically and phototherapeutically with people in the last stage of life and is continuing her training in phototherapy, palliative care and end-of-life care. Tina Ruisinger lives and works in Zurich and Berlin.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.
Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur
Museum für Sepulkralkultur
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0