workshop: Tanja Baudoin, Michel Langendijk

Workshop Coffin for your Beloved

Work together with a contemporary artist

A coffin with poetic ribbons, graffiti or textile? A robe or something more conceptual? As part of the Ik RIP exhibition on death and self-representation Mediamatic organized workshops for surviving relatives. Family and friends could work together with an artist of their choice to design a coffin. Participating artists were Ruchama Noorda, Melanie Bonajo, Zedz, and others.


Mediamatic's grafkisten showroom - Alice Bodanzky

For who?

A coffin for your beloved was a workshop by cultural institution Mediamatic for surviving relatives. In the company of an artist of choice, family and friends could work together on the coffin of a deceased loved one. The workshop aimed to contribute to a personal and intimate funeral. Mediamatic is using a cardboard coffin as an alternative to the standard wooden casket. This coffin is a tabula rasa, a simple neutral basis that, with the help of an artist, can be made into the coffin for the funeral.

The artists

Mediamatic worked together with a number of contemporary artists, among whom were Ruchama Noorda, Melanie Bonajo, Zedz, Edwin Oudshoorn, Niels 'Shoe' Meulman and Miktor & Molf. They understood the situation and were very aware of the sensitivity of the mourning process. All artists designed a coffin that served as an example to give people an idea of their style and approach. Participants could report their first and second preference for an artist to Mediamatic via their funeral director.


Mediamatic aimed to quickly organize the workshop at a time that suits the family. The artist could work together with the family in a peaceful atmosphere. The duration of the workshop depends on the family's preference and the manner in which the artist works. It was going to take place at Mediamatic in a closed space. Agreements with the funeral home would be made for the transport of the coffin. The family could also directly take the coffin with them if preferred.

The workshops were available from February 2009 and stopped with the end of the Ik R.I.P. exhibition. Unfortunately, we weren't approached by any interested family members, so the workshop never took place.