Death Becomes Her: Art Follows Death In Germany

The prize-winning artist Gregor Schneider has alway been fascinating by death, as are many artists. His sculpture “Hannelore Reuen” of a dead woman remains an international sensation. Now, he is going for an even more real angle: he is seeking an actual dying person to agree to die in a gallery as a form of art as people watch. Another artist took a variation on the approach — filming people shortly before and right after death as art. Modeling jobs are getting hard to come by but this is ridiculous.

Schneider insists that “The dying person would determine everything in advance, he would be the absolute center of attention . . . Everything will be done in consultation with the relatives, and the public will watch the death in an appropriately private atmosphere.”

Fellow German artists Gunther von Hagens is an “anatomist who uses a technique called plastination to , nicknamed Doctor Death, has been traveling the world with an exhibition of plastination to model actual corpses in various poses after being peeled of their skin. Click here. , showing genuine human bodies in living poses, playing chess or on horseback. In England, the Wellcome Collection features people shortly before and after death in captivating picture, click here.

For the full story on Gregor Schneider, here.

4 thoughts on “Death Becomes Her: Art Follows Death In Germany”

  1. Will the Media Remember it was LIBERAL Gore’s 1994 Tie-breaking Vote that Mandated Ethanol?

    As the international disaster of ethanol begins taking its toll across the planet — and, maybe more important, as more and more press outlets finally begin to recognize it — will media remember that Vice President Al Gore cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate requiring this oxygenate be added to gasoline by 1995?

    Seems highly unlikely, doesn’t it?

  2. I should have said one of two experiences we all have in common, of course birth being the other—DUH! Well, maybe three–abduction by anal probe obsessed aliens!

  3. JT,

    I disagree that this idea is ridiculous. For me it depends on how the collaboration with the dying person is done. Western society hides from death.

    It is conceivable that a dying person would engage in this project to help people know about death. Dying people are too often hidden away in facilities where they die in secret. Families/friends experiencing someone’s death are equally isolated from the rest of society.

    At workplaces employees are lucky to get 3 days off for bereavement. People often don’t know what to say to a person who is dying. We often don’t know what to say to family members or friends of the dying or dead.

    Thanks to the hospice movement this is slowly changing. But right now the one experience we all have in common is too often the most opaque to us. Integrating death back into life doesn’t seem like a bad thing for an artist to do.

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