We live in a death-denying culture. We fear the unknown and what could be more unknown than what exists beyond our living reality? So, we have created mythology around it, fabricated a number of stories to help us cope, but in daily life, we typically ignore it. However, times are changing, and there is a growing need to come to terms with our own mortality.
Artists historically are the cultural disseminators, particularly of difficult to digest ideas, and the subject of death is not new. One simply need to look to the 17th century vanitas paintings, or the Victorian post-mortem photography to find historic examples. While the western philosophy around death has been buried into social obscurity, the prevalence of serious contemporary artwork about death has been expanding. Memento Mori will showcase a collection of photographic images from historic and contemporary artists, each approaching the theme of death in their own unique way, spanning from literal to symbolic, from deeply personal to abstract cultural interpretations.
Image: Ashley Czajkowski, "Memento Mori," platinum-palladium print