The Crying Space

– a permanent installation by Eric Andersen, 1994

 

Tears and crying are the pivotal points and the theme of the installation to be found in the green room. According to the artist, tears are the only human means of communication which cannot be decoded right away. Tears indicate that something important is happening but not what or how. Tears can thus be shed because of anger, pain, sorrow, surprise, confusion, remembrance, love, joy, consensus, the wind or for no reason at all. In The Crying Space the guests are invited inside to shed their tears together and in public. And, according to the artist, there is plenty to cry over in a culture where crying has long since become taboo.

The Crying Space contains various objects and effects which can stimulate the visitors' need to cry. Apart from the nine crying stones, made especially out of Verona marble shaped as elliptical stones, each with two indentations for tears, there are a pair of scissors, some needles, feathers – and an onion waiting to be chopped. Furthermore, there is an accompanying sound picture made of recordings of professional mourners. Crying always contains a substance and leaves traces. The minerals of the tears will influence the crystals of the marble when they fall on the stones. The elliptically shaped crying stones may therefore change their structures because of the visitors' tears. This may be seen as an extension of Eric Andersen's whole experimental artistic practice in which the inclusion of an active audience plays an important part.