One day in May 2021, at low tide, I scattered my father's ashes by the sea not far from the bay of Mont St Michel, his childhood home.
In the pale light, the black-headed sheep graze and bleat in the bushes and look at us, a small group walking hand in hand in silence across the salt meadow. The green water of a stream flows gently to the sea, and waves shiver on the surface. The sky is streaked with delicate cirrus clouds. Wagtails sing in the cool wind, and their footprints form small signs in the grey clay sand. Next to a cairn made of granite stones, we throw the white ashes into the crisp air, and they fly away in infinitely delicate clouds.
The striking beauty of this moment, the light of this minute stretched to infinity, where my father's vanished body extends to the world, is imprinted in me. Where the dust of his body binds to the earth, air, and water. My father is the landscape, my father is the sea, my father is the wind, and his drawing is extended by the trace of a plane in the clear sky. My father has become immense, limitless, and his time no longer exists; he has become suspended in the present. I am pregnant, and while life is organizing itself within me to form a new body, life has left another. In a play of mirrors, one body is growing while another is disintegrating. A father has just left, and a son is about to arrive. Vertigo.
From this intimate experience, Adrien and I wanted to create a reincarnation: the last-minute journey. The one just before crossing the threshold. The starting point of this project, of this immersive installation, is, therefore, the end. The last minute. The one before you die or before you are born.
We composed this symbolic experience of the body on the verge of passing to the other side—between a "before" and an "after"—by placing ourselves in the vantage point of the elements. We wrote the story at the level of the particle: a droplet, a burning blaze, rising smoke, shivering ash, shaking earth, falling air, trickling rain, or a rising wave.
For the small group of people who will live together for 30 minutes in this final, stretched minute, we hope that the ritual character of the experience will be palpable—a ritual to care for our mourning, births, and metamorphoses.
— Claire Bardainne