Morbid Curiosity: The Richard Harris Collection
Curators Lucas Cowan and Debra Purden..
From the City of Chicago official website Curatorial Statements
Statement by curator Lucas Cowan
By its name – Morbid Curiosity – the exhibition is intended to intrigue and invite the viewer into a conversation about death – an event that every living organism consistently shares. Universally, we come from different backgrounds, cultures, and religious beliefs, but the inevitable aspect of death is common to us all.
This exhibition is an exploration of the ways in which cultures and societies have dealt with and interpreted the concept of mortality. Richard Harris has assembled a collection that, whether or not he knew it at the time, is itself a massive Memento Mori – an homage to death in which we, the viewers, may interpret and reflect about war, spirituality, religion, and personal beliefs that influence each and every one of us.
Many artworks in this exhibition reflect the idea of hiding from death. After spending over a year studying and organizing Richard Harris’s collection, I have come to realize that confronting the idea of death – looking it in the eye – is preferable to ignoring its inevitability. In spending time with this remarkable collection, I have been surprised by the change in my way of thinking about death, and about my own mortality. I hope that visitors to the exhibitions will be similarly inspired.
Lucas Antony Cowan
Chicago Cultural Center…
For statement by Debra Purden … click here