The subject of mortality is rarely approached head-on. More oblique strategies such as metaphor often provide a route into this difficult subject. Approaches to death can often provide an insight into cultural, social and political attitudes. Rather than using death as a blunt end-point, the publication turns its attention to mortality and the ways in which death appears (or is obscured) through being in the midst of life.
This publication includes essays by Steven Gartside (The Coffin Route) and Clive Parkinson (Present Tense); along with illustrated texts on seven major artists: Ian Breakwell, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Douglas Gordon, Julian Opie, Cornelia Parker, Bob and Roberta Smith, and Sam Taylor-Wood. The artists’ diverse responses to the theme help to reflect on the formation of perceptions and attitudes, as well as the ways in which death and dying are often kept at a convenient distance.
Published alongside an exhibition at The Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University, 8 July – 16th August 2013.