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Memento Mori Symposium


Date: Monday 24 November 2014
Time: 2.00pm-5.00pm
Venue: Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, The University of Western Australia
Registration: This event is free and open to the public. Please register here by 21 November 2014.

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This symposium reflects on the nature of death and the manner of its representation and meanings in visual art and literature since medieval times.

Andrew Lynch, Professor in English and Cultural Studies at UWA and Acting Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100-1800), will discuss 'Medieval modes of death and their afterlives'. His illustrated talk will trace some of the changing answers to questions including ‘What made a death 'good' or 'bad'? What was the relation of one's death to the life one had lived, and of the dead to the living? Could one know where the dead had gone?' Some of these may be found in the literary and artistic record from the medieval period and after.

Richard Read, Winthrop Professor in Art History at The University of Western Australia, will investigate the question ‘The Common Unshareable: Has the Meaning of Memento Mori Imagery Changed?’ He states: ‘Death is un-shareable and common, something which disunites as all and binds inseparably apart.’ He will discuss various meanings attributed to death with reference to local and international contemporary art.

Charles Zika, Professorial Fellow in the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at The University of Melbourne and Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions will address the question ‘Memento Mori – Remembering Death or the Community of the Dead in Early Modern Europe?’ This will include considering memento mori from the perspective of communities of the dead, exploring the range of emotional bonds such images could inspire through a number of different visual strategies.