30.09.10 - 09.10.10
In the era of globalisation, when the movement of people across borders is greater than ever before in history, the concept of identity – personal, national, cultural, religious, ethnic etc. – has become more and more problematic.
For this reason the corporation Das Beckwerk has mounted a utopian project with the aim of seeking out new forms for human existence beyond identity and citizenship.
30 September until 9 October, Das Beckwerk performs a leave-taking of identity and citizenship. A seven-day-long deathbed is set up in an extraordinary building erected in the centre of Copenhagen, Europe, a seven-day deathbed will be staged followed by a grand funeral procession and funeral. The role model of the deathbed is the ritual Funus Imaginarium from the time of the Roman Empire.
For seven days the Danish state citizen and named human being Claus Beck-Nielsen lies in effigy on his deathbed, watched over by nurses. Once a day a doctor comes to examine the patient and subsequently delivers a bulletin on the current state of the patient to the world community and the media. As the days go by the patient's condition becomes increasingly hopeless and 7. October the doctor declares declare the death of Claus Beck-Nielsen. 9. October the corpse will be placed in a coffin and the hearse followed by a grand funeral cortege will pass slowly through the centre of Copenhagen to the famous Assistens Churchyard, where Claus Beck-Nielsen, as representative of the world's other identities is buried.
Claus Beck-Nielsen represents the billions of identities and state citizens of the world. His death and burial is not an exception. In other cities around the world the deathbed, death and burial of this randomly chosen identity will take place simultaneously. In Cairo, Herning and Beijing a plaster cast copy of his body will lie simultaneously on a death bed in order to turn the singular and local death of Claus Beck-Nielsen into the multiple and world wide death of identities and the state citizen. On screens, computers and telephones connected to the World Wide Web people all over the world will be able to follow the event live via live-streaming from Copenhagen.