Curators: Maddy Rosenberg and Heide Hatry
Participating artists include: Roberta Allen, Dianne Bowen, Theresa Byrnes, Kathline Carr, Jennifer Elster, Maxwell Gimblett, Heide Hatry, Richard Humann, Julia Kissina, Gregg Lefevre, Kate Millett, Jim Peters, Herbert Pföstl, Michelle Ross, Sigrid Sarda, Carolee Schneemann, Aldo Tambellini, Linda Weintraub
The exhibition is devoted to a multiplicity of visual engagements with the subject of death, mounted to coincide with Hatry’s Icons in Ash, which is on display at Ubu Gallery through March 7.
Hatry’s meditative Icons in Ash is devoted to the proposition that death is at once ineffably individual – that generalization about death results only in empty banalities – and irreducibly social – that its effects take place among the living, and that it is in fact the glue that sustains communities and generations.
By now it is a frustrating commonplace of the “advanced” Western way of life to observe that we have isolated or banished death from our lives, that we cannot bear to look it in the face, as if we are embarrassed by it. But the simple and persistent fact of grief makes it obvious that a different relationship is not only possible, but that it is necessary.
Icons in Ash, Death in Art presents a diverse range of visual thinking and practice, constituting individual and collective efforts to learn to live with death, to reintegrate it into our social being, to recognize that it is part of life, not simply its end or its antithesis. As ever, artists are both attuned to primordial and perennial human needs and drawn by the dark flame of taboo. Unlike most of us, they reach out to death, to touch and to work with it, to listen and to give it voice in its mundanity, its grandeur, its familiarity and its mystery, its uniqueness and its universality, to redeem it from oblivion, to give it its own life again. Icons in Ash, Death in Art offers some of the fruits of their engagement.