Dead Swan

(Dunner-Kebab Jewelry Box), 2016

Music box, dried watermelon, epoxy resin, jewelry, tune of the Dying Swan

24 x 25 x 22 cm 

The musical jewelry box is a symbol of a lost European expertise and lifestyle; romantic in its essence, it served as a small treasure chest where a woman’s most precious charms are kept.


This seemingly ordinary music box, where a small ballerina once spun, plays the song “The Dying Swan” by the French composer Camille Saint-Saens (instead of Tchaikovsky's “Swan Lake”). Surrounded by antique jewelry of mixed origins, the figure pirouetting inside is not a ballerina but rather a doner kebab. Turning over like the oriental street food, I created this hybrid using watermelon flesh. I dried the watermelon in salt and coated it with epoxy resin in order to eternalize the bare barbecue dance.


The sight of blood, our innermost substance, mystically loaded with meaning throughout all cultures, is inevitably linked to the display of violence. The doner kebab, the fast food of the Middle Eastern cuisine, serves as a prime example for assimilation. The Eastern catering for the Western civilisation, due to immigration, stands in contrast to the fear of foreign influences and their yet unknown aftermath in what is familiar to us since time immemorial.

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