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A Personal

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"..My father was found dead in his carpentry, after taking his own life.

We just marked 3 years since his passing.

He didn't leave a letter, and there weren't any bold signs for it coming. That morning, like any other morning, he woke up and went to work, just that this time he never came back. Leaving us behind with so many unanswered questions.."


The ambiguity and mystery behind this kind of sudden loss make it extremely hard to get into the last phase of grief - acceptance. As it requires accepting not only the permanent absence of a person, but also the absence of certainty, and the absence of answers to all of our questions.

As part of the grieving process the artist been going through these last years, he found the willingness to share his story, shedding light on a subject that is for most surrounded by shame and often shrouded in stigma and silence as it is a harsh matter to digest.


After a long journey of processing his loss through spiritual and psychological therapies, alongside group therapy of young people who have lost one of their parents due to suicide, he could now able to approach this subject from a different angle, Accepting it as a part of his life story. 


His inquiry was and still is a continuous self therapeutic journey. On the same time, it become a way for him to channel this energy and bring it back into his practice and professional world as an artist who storytells through objects. Transforming his pain into a creation.

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of a Choice

Narrative auto-ethnography research publication presented as a series of letters the artist wrote to his father.

In this thesis paper, Elkayam tap into his reflections and thoughts on the various dimensions of suicide, including shame, grief, religion, memories, and the impact on those left behind. Simultaneously, he examines suicide as an autonomous decision over one’s own life.

The research unfolds a personal story but is also informed by interviews conducted with his fellow group therapy members.

Elkayam approaches this topic by observing the uncanny, a term that resonates with the ambivalence of emotions following ambiguous loss.

The uncanny is a term that emerged following World War I, a time of collective post-trauma and mass deaths, representing an unsettling feeling of familiarity intertwined with eeriness or discomfort.

The uncanny manifests through death as it describes an experience in between the known and the unknown.



This work aligns itself within the traditions of still-life, a genre which is long contextualized historically and culturally in the arts and carries symbolic meanings regarding life and death cycles through the representation of everyday objects. This harmony in a still-life composition explores the relationship between the face value of objects and the obscured stories behind them.

The artist presents a speculative interpretation of still-life scenery, reimagining the genre and using this medium to weave a narrative that echoes his loss and expresses hidden stories through the objects.


Each object is carefully curated and symbolizes a facet of this complex emotional landscape.

This combination of daily objects, which for most are innocent and intended for their obvious purposes, can take on the role of witnesses or actors in different scenes of self-harm. For some people, these objects shift their meanings and become loaded with triggering energy.

By portraying these objects together, the viewer can find a deeper subliminal meaning they convey. However, not all information is accessible, as some details will always remain a mystery.


Through this sculptural representation of his personal story, Elkayam provides space for the audience to project their personal relationships with death onto the work, offering viewers an opportunity to engage with the raw reality of loss and the social constructs surrounding suicide.

Poam by Alon Hochberg



This assortment of objects is arranged as a fragment of my father's carpentry. It creates the contrast between in and out, private and public.

Its exterior displayed a space that simulates the facade of an unfinished construction site - preserving a memory of a demolished building that does not exist anymore, and its interior expresses a different atmosphere as it shows a dramatic representation of the scene itself. This isolated environment emphasizes the intimacy border between the viewer and the work while diving into its details. 


The gaze offered to the audience is through a gap in the walls. This gap allows limited access and view of the work as it evokes a sense of curiosity to see closer and to know more details, creating the desire to glimpse into a personal expression of the story that is not fully approachable yet all of us could relate to it in different ways.

The installation will be activated in a way that is similar to the dynamism and non-linearity of the grieving process and will express it by modifying the gap aperture according to his ability to share at that specific moment - making it as a visual analogy to his own feelings regarding the grief itself.



prototypes composition

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