Installation Demenz Der schleichende Abschied Senioren Fachstelle Wesseling Themenwoche Demenz im Rhein-Erft-Kreis Dennis Josef Meseg

Dementia – When the self fades away

Art campaign on the occasion of „dementia week“ in Rhein-Erft-Kreis, April 2022

It begins so sneakingly. One cannot find one’s glasses. Forgot, what was only just on the agenda. Goes shopping without one’s coat.

Worries get played down: Elderly people tend to forget things. Pretty normal. And as long as one remembers childhood adventures so clearly, everything is allright.

But it is not. Dementia, this atrocious thief who step by step steals every detail a personality contains of – thus extinguishes an identity – tends to hide behind a wall of early memories which it leaves untouched. In the beginning.

Those early memories can be triggered deceptively easy: with a song. A scent. A nursery rhyme. And while the person concerned smilingly sings along or quotes a poem from schooldays, clinging on to the hope that everything is allright, his or her mind starts to fade away. Piece by piece, like photos in a picturebook, everything gets taken away from him. What he had learned. What he experienced. What he was.

Until nothing remains. When the last nursery rhyme dies away and the last memory had been deleted from the picture book of his life, man does not exist any longer. Only his empty shell remains, a blank page. Exchangeable at will, without identity.

With his art campaign „When the self fades away“ the artist Dennis Josef Meseg wishes to call peoples‘ attention to the fate of dementia patients and their relatives. Twelve mannequins distributed all over the down and wrapped in white ribbons, represent the mainly female patients. Every one of these figures has a „sponsor“, e.g. a pharmacy, where it is on display outside the shop and next to an info booth of the organization Seniorenstelle Wesseling.

Awareness of dementia is more important than ever in an ageing society like ours. It can strike everyone, and nobody should turn away. For the only thing that can oppose this final tragic is humanity.

6. Dementia week in Rhein-Erft-Kreis – Onlineprogramm PDF (German)

Locations in 50389 Wesseling (German):

1. Fachstelle für Senioren MARKT
An St. Germanus 11

2. Rathaus Foyer MARKT

3. Stadtbücherei MARKT

4. Optik & Hörakustik Weibeler
Bahnhofstr. 35

5. Tagespflege der Diakonie Michaelshoven MARKT

6 Caritas Beratungsstelle
katholisches Gemeindezentrum St. Germanus
Bonner Str. 11

7. Jonen Augenoptik Hörakustik
Flach.Fengler-Str. 75

8. Caritas-Sozialstation
Flach-Fengler-Str. 116

9. Evangelisches Gemeindezentrum Kreuzkirche
Kronenweg 67

10. Präses-Held-Haus
Pflegeheim Alfterstr. 2

11. Sport- und Gesundheitszentrum Wesseling
Keldenicher Str.12

12. Entenfang-Apotheke
Berzdorf, Hauptstr. 70

Zeitfenster (German)

6 Uhr Während ich aus dem Fenster in den kalten dunklen Morgen schaue, spüre ich die Schwere meines Körpers. In vier Stunden wird mein Sohn auf der Welt sein.

12 Uhr Während ich aus dem Fenster in die Ferne schaue, kochen die Spaghetti. Gleich wird er mit dem viel zu schweren Schulranzen nach Hause kommen.

18 Uhr Während ich aus dem Fenster in den strahlenden Sommerabend schaue, startet mein Sohn sein Motorrad. Wo er wohl hin fährt?

24 Uhr Während ich aus irgendeinem Fenster in die dunkle Nacht schaue, weiß ich weder die Uhrzeit noch das Datum. Aber ich warte auf meinen Sohn.

Den netten Mann, der mich heute Nachmittag besucht hat, kenne ich nicht. Aber er hat den gleichen Leberfleck auf der Stirn wie mein Sohn.

Thoughts of the author Irmgard Maria Jansen-Otto (
„Im falschen Film?“
Was passiert mit uns, wenn unsere Zeit nicht mehr linear verläuft? Wenn unsere Erinnerung wie ein Film an beliebiger Stelle zu stoppen und abzuspulen ist. Ich bin dennoch immer in „meinem Film!“

    If you are interested in this installation for your city, municipality, association, gallery, museum or other organisation, you can find out about availability and the rental price here.