Icelandic Artist Seeks Corpse For Very Morbid Dance Performance


"Looking for dead bodies in the name of the art," began the recent Facebook post of Icelandic artist Snorri Ásmundsson. "I need a corpse for a video installation. If you are dying I would like to borrow your remains after you die. The body will be returned to the undertaker in the 'same' condition. Sincerely Snorri Asmundsson."


Summary: Ásmundsson is on the lookout for a living collaborator on the verge of death to agree to participate in his upcoming performance piece, which will consist of dancing with a recently deceased corpse. According to Hyperallergic, the artist intends the piece to raise "a number of intrusive questions," like, perhaps, Why are you dancing with that dead body? And, Is this legal? And, Can I go home now?

The performance will last approximately an hour, after which Ásmundsson will return his dance partner's remains to an undertaker or posthumous destination of choice. All the details will be hammered out with a lawyer who will prepare contracts with any volunteers.

So far, volunteers have responded to Ásmundsson's callout, though none seem like they'll die fast enough to get the gig. (One terminally ill Icelandic man miraculously recovered after signing up, so there went that.)

Nevertheless, the artist is determined to find a consenting partner for his morbid dance. "You can go to China or Mexico and buy a body, but I have no interest in that," he told Icelandic newspaper Morgunblaðið. "I’m not that kind of morally corrupt. I want to do this piece in collaboration with the dead, not in the least out of respect for him and his family."

Not all too surprisingly, Ásmundsson is aware of the many people out there horrified by the concept. "I think they possibly think I am going to do something really disgusting instead of seeing the beauty in this piece," he said. "I believe that one day I will find the right candidate, and we will accomplish to make this piece in [an] unforgettable way."

Unforgettable sounds about right. Maybe in the can't-sleep-need-therapy type of way, but who are we to judge? 

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