Much of what Ebenstein shows us seems bursting at the seams with meaning, as if the objects have travelled through history like a ball of snow gathering mass as it rolls down a hill. Tableaux of foetal skeletons engaging in miniature funeral ceremonies take on very different meanings in modernity as opposed to when they were constructed...
... I agree with Ebenstein when she criticises those who would define her as unhealthily morbid. I think it's far more interesting to try and understand what our irresistible compulsion to explore this subject says about the psychology of humanity, and how we bear the burden of being the only animal with the foresight to see the Grim Reaper somewhere up the road ahead of us, tapping his scythe impatiently.--'Seize the Day' at the Wellcome Collection, 2nd November 2012, London City Nights
The above is drawn from a lovely and insightful review of last Friday night's amazing "Seize the Day" event at The Wellcome Collection from the "London City Nights" website; it includes a detailed and sensitive response to my own contribution to the night's festivities: A lecture entitled "Art and Death." You can read the entire article in its entirely by clicking here.
Images drawn from the post, and were all discussed at length in the lecture. Top to bottom:
- 18th Century Anatomical Venus
- Cabaret de Néant Postcard
- 17th Century Fetal Skeleton Tableau from The Secret Museum exhibition