Critique Art in the Afterlife In “Nekrolog”
Waking up next to the trash can with a giant bottle and a container of pills, I can only assume that last night didn’t go very well. I look outside to see sections of apartments dancing outside and comets raining down in the sky — they probably had a night as rough as mine. As I look over, my lifeless, mobile computer desk sits in the middle of the room and I notice out of the corner of my eye that my guitar is bobbing in rhythm with my breathing.
You may have guessed it already, but Nekrolog is a story about someone’s death. I guess the title, which means “obituary” in Swedish, gives it away, but the main character falling five stories down a staircase at the beginning of the game gets right to the point as well. It’s not clear on whether it’s suicide or just rotten luck, but your character’s unlucky plummet is when the game truly begins. Not something you can say about an average day.
What happens when you make it to the afterlife? According to Nekrolog, you wake up in an unsettling, foggy, white room with the Shepard tone playing in reverse. It may not become clear immediately, even after stumbling upon a curved bookcase and a staircase bench, but after a while it seems like the hereafter is the next Guggenheim. Moving sculptures, false color rooms, and moving heads — you are definitely in an art gallery.
Ludo Morto’s itch.io page for the game describes Nekrolog as “an interactive audio-visual psychedelic experience.” It also says “몰라” in Korean, which translates to “I don’t know” in English. I have my own interpretations of what Nekrolog is trying to tell me through the artwork of the afterlife and Morto’s vague descriptions, but if I stated them here then it would deprive you of creating your own.
Check out Nekrolog and see how post-mortem art speaks to you. It may be a bit brighter than you thought.