Death – A Self Portrait Overview

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Art, LOndon, Religion, Sculpture
Tags: , , ,

Skull 1

Apologies to all as it has been a while since my last post. Much has changed since I was last informing you of something irrelevant that I, at least found interesting. However I will save you the details at this time.

Back to the review, and the most recent exhibition to get me out of my four walls was Richard Haris’s ‘Death: A Self-Portrait’ at Euston’s Welcome Gallery.

The exhibition consists of around 300 pieces of art, sculpture, animation that is devoted to attitudes surrounding death and our complex & contradictory attitudes towards the theme.

The exhibition is divided into five categories:

Room 1 – Contemplating Death: The contemplation of morality and our views around it. Images of skulls combined with the theme of time are prominent in this room to reconcile us with morality and condemn morality
Room 2 – The Dance of Death: The universal certainty of death, regardless of social status. The world has periodically suffered war, famine and disease and death provides the ultimate leveler. Skeletons alongside humans highlight the frailty of man with dark humorous overtones prevailing.

Skel 2

Room 3 – Violent Death: The question this room asks is whether art can provide aesthetically pleasing work about violent death and the damage of war to body & souls. The pieces on show act as anti-war messages highlighting the damage caused.
Room 4 – Eros & Thanatos: This room questions people’s fascination with disturbing or morbid phenomena cannot be attributed to scientific curiosity. There is a strong connection with living subjects alongside skulls and skeletons.
Room 5 – Commemoration: Rituals associated with death, burial and mourning have transformed over centuries and across cultures. This room highlights the populist subject has integrated into modern culture and commercialism.

Skull2

Although a little macabre for most tastes, the exhibition is thought provoking and highlights how societies view on death and morality have become heavily desensitised. There is a dark humored undercurrent that ensures the exhibition flows from theme to theme and isn’t too morbid. Overall a great exhibition and well worth a few hours of your time.

Memento Mori

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