An interactive installation on solitude, loss, endings and care

We, Susanna Hood and Bettina Neuhaus have been working on an artistic collaboration remotely for 2 years during the pandemic. The generated materials comprised scores, writings, dances, videos and photography. This resulted in our wish to create a poetic space for one audience member at a time to house the experience of solitude, loss, endings and care.

Tending Decay is an interactive installation that reflects on the absence of the physical presence of others initially provoked by the global situation.
This poetic space is created for one visitor at a time who is invited to engage during 60min actively, experientially and sensorily with the meanings and felt sense of these two words:

To Tend: look after; care for; attend to; watch over; nurture, cherish; maintain; cultivate… tending implies time, patience, love.

Decay: decomposition; withering; falling away from; reducing of a substance to its component elements; breaking up; going to pieces; or wearing away…. decay implies ending, death.

The installation is designed with different atmospheric zones created by light, objects, materials and photos including a place to sit and rest comfortably, a place to read, to drink a glass of water, to listen, to move, to create with paper and pencils….. In some places written scores invite the visitor to interact with an object, to record an action or some speech, or to arrange some elements anew.
Through their presence and actions each visitor contributes to the ongoing transformation of the installation. These individual traces can provide additional inspiration for the following person and become a connecting thread between the different visitors, their actions and experiences.

Idea, concept and creation: Susanna Hood, Bettina Neuhaus
First draft: December 28, 2022, ada-Studio, Berlin
Special thanks to our first four visitors Jenny Döll, Paula Ilic, Akemi Nagao and Jonathan Garfinkel.
Photos: Susanna Hood, Bettina Neuhaus

We are currently reviewing the experience of our first presentation and we look forward to sharing future plans soon.