Dulce et Decorum est Pro Arte Mori
The light installation Dulce et Decorum est pro Arte Mori sprung from research done on the themes of the “Danse Macabre” and “Death and the Maiden” in art history. A tradition inciated as a “memento mori” which underlines the pulsating relationship between eros and thanatos, which is remembered and prevails until today. The sexuality of woman gives birth to life, who´s mortality comes with its counterpart, death.
In this project a selection of images from previous artists is appropriated -from the first fascinated by the themes in 16th century Germany (such as Hans Baldung Grien and Hans Sebals Beham- to more recent artists (such as Egon Schiele and Joseph Beuys – and hand painted on coloured glass. Using the principle of the magic lantern certain small areas of the drawings are focused on the walls through static analogic projection. Like the magic lantern, the installation is a large “philosophical toy” where viewers can see every single part of the simple analogic apparatus and discover the science behind (the light sources are movable to entice exploration of the images).
The images and the magic lanterns together make a “danse macabre” mural of women seduced by death in the work of several artists discernible only the projection of certain parts of the images. The rest is left out as unfocused coloured haze that unifies the whole of the light painting. In this way, the seduction of death is revealed in a macabre game where senses and desire for death by women rule. This temptation is as intangible as the focused images on the wall and death is as incomprehensible as the blurry colours that surround them.
Everything is lost and death whispers in our ears. Death touches us; death seduces us. No other lover is more passionate or sweeter than death. She loves in an intangible spectre. Every now and then a light will focus and we can see her disfigured face licking a cheek or her decrepit hand touching our chests. We play in a hazy scene between life and death. Woman is the beginning of life and life is the begging of death.