A Conversation (Between Yama and Yudhishthira).

One day, in the forest, the god of Death Yama asked the mighty hero Yudhishthira: “What is the most wonderful thing in this world?”.

Yudhishthira answered: “The most wonderful thing in this world is that, despite the countless number of people passing away every day, the rest still hopes to live forever.” (from Mahabharata, Book 3, 311-312).

In front of Death, every man is harmless. The person as a social being, linked to rites and institutions (even conflicts are institutionalised), is totally deconstructed – naked, alone and harmless.

The Indian city of Varanasi has always been put in a close relationship with the concept of death. According to Hinduism, cremation is sacrifice, and sacrifice regenerates the cosmos. Thus, since funeral pyres are uninterrupted in Varanasi, the process of creation is continually repeated.
As an artist and photographer, I am interested in the concept of obsession. Death is mankind’s final confrontation and ultimate obsession. Every single man on this planet, since the beginning of times, has confronted death somehow. Being it a thought that is always in the back of someone’s mind, or a concept to be dealt with in religion or philosophy, death has been a crucial topic for mankind in every field of art, history, science.
Is death final? Is it part of life, a different face of the same coin? Can life die? Is there something after it? Or are we confined to this planet, to this universe? Every human being has tried at least once to find an answer to these questions.
A Conversation Between Yama and Yudhishthira is an observation of the landscape of death in Varanasi.
This project has been made possible with the help of “PROGETTO DE.MO./MOVIN’ UP – II Sessione 2013”, curated by MINISTERO PER I BENI E LE ATTIVITA’ CULTURALI & G.A.I. – Associazione per il Circuito dei Giovani Artisti Italiani.