An Occupation of Loss, an installation and performance piece designed by OMA/Shohei Shigematsu in collaboration with artist Taryn Simon, runs at New York's Park Avenue Armory from 13 to 25 September 2016.
Open to the public during the day, the installation in the Armory's huge Wade Thompson Drill Hall becomes a set at night for more than thirty "professional mourners" who populate it and "broadcast their lamentations." The large scale sculpture is made up of eleven concrete wells that, according to OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu, were designed for sound:
Daytime visitors can occupy the wells and listen to mourners from the evening performances, all the while adding their own voice to the mix. In the evening, the sounds of the professional mourners resound throughout the vast drill hall, projected from the wells like a giant organ. As the photos here attest, the installation design is a suitable companion to the subject matter of the performances.
The design was sonically-motivated, focusing on the performative act of loss rather than its physical manifestation, which has been historically marked by multiple scales – from tombstones to the World Trade Center Memorial. The industrial wells were configured into a readymade ruin that responds to both personal and monumental dimensions.