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sancta placenta
mixed media on paper 

If figurative vanitas still lifes of the early modern era remind us of the ephemerality of pleasure and the inevitability of death, then medieval saint’s relics offer us much more direct interactions with once-living matter. The very physicality of the preserved body, defying time and decay, can be seen as a reminder of the miracle of your existence, a memento nasci (remember that you must be born).


At Our Still Lives Posed
satellite exhibition #11

Axel Obiger, working in collaboration with PAPER will draw together the practices of 12 artists working in both Berlin and the United Kingdom. Each artist attempts to disrupt the notion of still life, and reinterpret this genre of art. Still Life was considered the lowest genre of art, and yet in the composition of objects, artists can imply a great deal. Frances Morris wrote of Picasso's still lives, they are "capable of evoking the most complex blend of pathos and defiance, of despair to hope, balancing personal and universal experience in an expression of extraordinary emotional power. The hardship of daily life, the fragility of human existence and the threat of death". These themes permeate through the genre where they remain ever present to this day, simmering below the surface.

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