Streams

Date With Death Bear

Monday, January 18, 2010

This bear doesn't do hugs. He's not even cuddly. But, Death Bear does promise to take your pain away, which is way more than any Care Bear can say.

Nate Hill, the man who brought us Free Bouncy Rides and Candy Crack Delivery, now makes free house calls as part of his latest performance art project. "Death Bear is like a fantasy for me," he says. "It's like an invented world."

Dressed in a black jumpsuit and a hard, sinister-looking bear head, Hill goes door-to-door, removing items that trigger sad memories. Death Bear will "absorb your pain into his cave," at least according to his website.

Lost souls and the broken-hearted summon Death Bear to their apartments via text message. Death Bear walks in at the appointed time, and gets to work. He doesn't talk much. A typical appointment lasts about five minutes.

Naturally, Death Bear gets a lot of relationship-related left-overs: pictures, jewelry, books, clothes and toothbrushes.  But there's random junk in the mix as well: potato chips, bills and candy bars, to name a few.

Hill says he thinks of myself more as a moving man than a therapist.

"I don't know if I'm helping people. It's a symbolic gesture," he says. "They can do with it what they can."

Each visit varies in tone, but Hill says it can get pretty raw. "I've had some people who have almost cried and you can tell they are flustered. You can tell there is real emotion," says Hill. "That's why I started taking the piece very seriously from the beginning."

Death Bear plans to make the rounds again February 12-14. Just in time for the emotional cocktail of Valentine's Day.

Tags:

More in:

News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
Get the best of WNYC in your inbox, every morning.

Comments [4]

matron from Bed-Sty.

Death Bear came to my house on Valentines morning. His texts and willingness to travel are like having a boyfriend who cares, he's pleasant and leaves quickly... which helps with any potential embarrassment depending on the item you give him. Thank you, Death Bear.

Feb. 17 2010 01:57 PM
bee cee

I think this is great. What a good idea. Objects can trigger bad memories and it is so cool that Death Bear can come and take them away. I can imagine that Death Bear's sweetness and concern comes through even though his outfit and mask is so serious and rather daunting. Way to Go Death Bear!

Jan. 22 2010 08:29 AM
hokeydokey

so I'm thinking, if D bear takes your sheeet, does he take it in "the woods"

Jan. 21 2010 02:41 PM
BarbaraCampisi from Brooklyn, NY

I love the idea of making the post-relationship purge official.
A question- what does Death Bear do with all of that karma-laden stuff? And what would happen if someone wanted to give the bear a dog?

Jan. 21 2010 12:39 PM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.

Sponsored

Feeds

Supported by