alex cacchetti’s take on the tamam shud mystery
“In Tamam Shud, a murder mystery artist’s novel by Alex Cecchetti, the artist and narrator realises he is dead and decides to investigate the causes of his own death.
My body was found in 2014, somewhere between Los Angeles and Warsaw, dismembered. My identity is still unknown. Nothing can be used for identification. The labels of the clothes, fingerprints and the number on the shoes have been carefully unstitched, deleted, washed, bleached and delivered to oblivion. The only clue, in a secret pocket sewn inside my trousers, detectives have recovered a fragile piece of paper torn from the pages of a book. Written there, the words Tamam Shud, ‘this is the end’.
In order to create the Tamam Shud narrative, Cecchetti devised a two-year-long art project in which the exhibition constitutes the key device in the production of the artist’s upcoming novel. The performative nature of the exhibition is threefold. Firstly, a series of thematic rooms contain pieces that, similarly to musical scores, are activated by the spectators’ participation. For instance, the Dance Room features a number of staircase handrails modified in such a way that when visitors place their hands on them and follow their curves and twists from one end to the other, they perform a choreographed ballet dance sequence. Additionally, there will also be some performative events at various times during the exhibition, such as a synaesthesia concert, and meals served in the Dinner Room at various times throughout the duration of the exhibition.
I don’t remember if in life I was an artist, a musician or a gardener, but death forced me to be one. About music, I remember only colours. If I paint them, would an orchestra play what I used to hear? If I play my bones as a flute, will they sing the secret of my youth? If I pollinate flowers with my mouth, will the fruits have the scent of words or kisses?
The third performative aspect focuses on a pair of detectives who will carry out their investigations, observing the events unfolding during the show, and communicating these to the artist, who will use them as fodder for the writing of his novel. Disappearing paintings, whale song, dreamed artworks, a mysterious erotic cabinet, and score paintings for orchestra are just some of the clues that will influence the writing process.”