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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Aesthetics of Death

This was the introductory plaque to the "Death" exhibit which is currently on at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Cold, to the point and re-assuring is what it is. Enjoy!

Death has a lot on his calendar.Of course, there is the work of ministering to and menacing his endless stream of more-or-less-willing clients. But he also has parties to attend, concerts to perform and places to go. He is an athlete, adept at riding horses, driving chariots and manoeuvring other contraptions that most of us know little about. His musical skills include playing string instruments, percussion and brass. It comes as now surprise that he is also a gifted dancer. Death also has a practical side, as demonstrated by his mastery of agricultural implements and timepieces. He is unimpeachably democratic in his associations. In fact, it is difficult to think of anyone he would avoid. Many have claimed the title of "The Great Equalizer", but ever busy Death rightfully retains the crown.

So compelling is Death, that he has been the subject of fascination of artists since the Middle Ages.Some artists take delight in the dark humor achieved in the netherworld, some shock us with its fearsome aggression and other find poignancy in its comfort. Some remind us that Death is an impromptu visitor for whom we must always be prepared; other see Death approaching quickly, attracted by our actions.

Despite his hectic schedule, Death beckons you. Great artists urge you to accept his invitation - in your imagination for the present - for, eventually, Death is sure to find you.

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