Are You Ready To Die?
(A ritual for the living and the dead)
*heartbeat slows, sound of ambulance sirens*
*sound of pulse monitor and breathing machine*— Notorious B.I.G., Life After Death, 1997
The body bleeds only water and fear when you survive
the death of your politics. — Dionne Brand
Are You Ready To Die? is a homage to the rapper & philosopher Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, who released two of the most profound hip-hop albums, Ready to Die (1994) and Life After Death (1997), which narrate politics and pleasure, as well as the virtue and vice of the act of dying and its complexities. After his death in 1997, Notorious B.I.G. became a mythical figure, a divine being, but above all Biggie Smalls was an everyday man, an innovator of hip hop and its poetics. He was a bootstrapper caught between death and the everyday struggle. Ready to Die and Life After Death are oral archives that look into black social life, remembrance and suffering, and also attest to his prophecy.
Are You Ready To Die? meditates on our death and the role death plays within our society, which denies and erases the presence of death. Are you ready to die? Long-time friends and collaborators Milone Reigman and Amal Alhaag interpret, remix and use these two albums as guidelines to dissect this question, inviting various voices, lovers, friends and strangers to join this ritual for the living and the dead.
The evening is being organized by the Oude Kerk in collaboration with Radna Rumping and Michiel van Iersel and takes place in the context of the current exhibition NA by Christian Boltanski. Afterwards you can gather for a drink at the Koffieschenkerij café to exchange thoughts on the evening.
Come Closer #2 is the second in a series of intimate ceremonies. Come Closer #3 will take place on 27 March 2018.
The evenings bring you closer to Christian Boltanski’s ideas in his exhibition NA – ‘After’ – and probes the themes in his work, such as transience and personal mythologization, in greater depth. How do we remember and how can we forget? How can you shape your legacy? And can you revive something or someone? These are the pivotal questions during several mythical memorial ceremonies in February, March and April 2018.
We pay particular attention to people and movements that deserve our attention, but have not necessarily gained a place in the collective cultural memory. The evenings are put together in association with various artists, designers and thinkers. The performative programme is loosely based on the format of a memorial service – after which there will be time to have a drink and mingle.
come closer #2
are you ready to die?
16 March 2018, 18:00–19;00 (doors open at 17:45)
tickets: €10.00 (free entrance with Museumkaart, Friends of the Oude Kerk, ICOM, I amsterdam City Card)
Come Closer is the public programme associated with the exhibition NA by Christian Boltanski. This exhibition is supported by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Fonds 21 ,Gravin van Bylandt Stichting, Jemi Bloemenwinkel, Stichting Gifted Art and Stichting Zabawas.