Dying Under Your Eyes, single channel film, 27 minutes 2019

27 minutes, colour, sound, subtitled English, HD (Smartphone camera + 4K), 2019

A film by Oreet Ashery

Dying Under Your Eyes explores the sudden death of Daniel, Ashery’s elderly father, in 2018. The film unravels the processes of ageing, dying, grief and intimate surveillance as witnessed on the artist’s smart phone. Like a detective, Dying Under Your Eyes follows the circumstances leading to Daniel’s death, alongside otherworldly rituals of beckoning, mourning, devotion and play performed by two family members.

Through the eyes of their carer Nishanti, Dying Under Your Eyes narrates the daily routines leading up to Daniel’s fall and subsequent hospitalisation and Haya, Ashery’s mother’s, move into a care home. The film’s delicate tone and piercing soundtrack underscores the charged atmosphere of looming decline. Ashery captures her father’s playfulness, possibly shadowed by undiagnosed dementia, while documenting her parent’s relationship through a series of intimate exchanges that often address the camera. At points Ashery dresses up as her father, attempting to embody, process and make sense of the rapid, moving and confronting story of loss and love.

© Dying Under Your Eyes has been commissioned by Wellcome Collection, 2019.

Misbehaving Bodies: Jo Spence and Oreet Ashery, Wellcome Collection, 29 May 2019 – 26 January 2020

Mitos Del Futuro Proximo,  Fotobiennial, Tenerife 7 October 2019 – 15 March 2020

How we die is how we live only more so, solo exhibition, 10 September – 20 October, 2019, Centre of Contemporary Art, Prague

 

* Ashery’s father was part of a small indigenous Jewish community living in Jerusalem, Palestine, for over seven generations. The artist filmed her dad in Jerusalem between 2011-2018 and was raised by him to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people’s right for dignified lives, death and burials.