A Nightly Wakes in Fragments of the Cross

When hundreds of visitors entered the large church at 11:45 pm, some of them received one of the nearly two hundred painted pieces of steel where handed out.

At 0:00 a movie started, showing that what they held in their hands was actually a fragment of an iron cross.


0:05 am. The visitors, one by one, bring their fragments to the front in a shared community art work. On a plexiglass triptych covered with thousands of small magnets in a circular form, the fragments where carefully attached.

Fragments (1) - performance at De Grote Kerk - Stein Frayman
Every nightly hour a new artwork was created in the church.

From then on, every hour, Stein Frayman created a new image, using the fragments of the cross. And every hour of the wakes, the audience gathered around the plexiglass triptych and listened to a choir singing ancient songs in Russian, Hebrew, French, English and Dutch.

At 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 5:00 the fragments formed monsters, ladders, cities, birds, persons, stars.

For the finale of the wakes at 6:00 all fragments where brought down. What remained was light, shining brightly through the plexiglass. Meanwhile the remaining people shared a community breakfast and the choir sang its final chorus.

Chicken barn Studio practices

To make sure the magnets would hold the solid steel fragments that included a protective layer to avoid rust), endless studio experiments were performed in an old chicken barn. The fragments below show the final studio experiments for the first, third and fifth hour of the wakes.

The fifth hour - studio practice of fragments