May 15th 2021

A Practicum for Digging a Grave with Mel Keiser
This will be a live, in-person event

Sat., May 15, 2021
9:00 am to 1:00 pm
Location: Behind 618 Colfax Street, Evanston

All are welcome to attend and observe!
To participate as a digger, RSVP to Jill Mannor at

Led by Kaplan Humanities Institute Artist in Residence Mel Keiser and certified grave diggers Kris Bloedow and Bill Jessen, participants will learn the increasingly forgotten but age-old skill of manually digging a grave. We will reflect on the ability of this labor to simultaneously inter the deceased, mirror the process of grieving, and direct emotion into social action.

Entangling the borders of reality and fiction, Keiser’s multidisciplinary work explores the social and psychological impact of treating herself not as one single person but a series of distinct self-versions. Claiming these self-versions born and died—in 2003, twice in 2007, 2011, 2014, 2018, and 2020—Keiser is currently making a body for each of her selves and burying them in a cemetery.

Dig site
We will dig behind 618 Colfax, Evanston, which is the site of an unoccupied residential hall. There is street parking and a parking lot nearby at Elder Hall (see this map:

Participants must wear masks and adhere to campus visitor COVID safety protocols.

This event is co-presented by the Department of Art History, the Department of Art Theory and Practice, and the Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities.

Official Website

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