Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Them Bones

Cabinet Magazine is a great mag that comes out with themes. This latest release on bones. Two of the best articles are:

  1. The catacombs of Palermo and;
  2. The cultural history of the study of anatomy.

Quote from the anatomy one:
" ... anatomy was also a death cult. It invited us to know ourselves through the study and appropriation of the dead. And asked its practitioners to put aside any qualms about dealing with the dead, to enthusiastically mine their cadavers and search for knowledge within them, with the same kind of relish that prospectors searched for gold. Old anatomy halls often bear mottos such as "hic locus est ubi mors gaudet succurrere vitae" ("this is the place where death rejoices in aiding life") and "gnosce te ipsum" ("know thyself"). And the study of bones, the stuff of which we are built, produced the profoundest knowledge of what it is to be human."
On that note I've also always loved Nozick's opening on his chapter on 'Dying' in 'The examined life'.
"They say no one is able to take seriously the possibility of his or her own death, but this does not get it exactly right. (Does everyone take seriously the possibility of his or her own life?) A person's death does become real to him after the death of both parents. Until then, there was someone else who was "supposed to" die before him; now that no one stands between him and death, it becomes his "turn." (Is it presumed that death will honor a queue?)"
Update: Actually this might be a good time to throw in some artists I've found lately.

The first is Jónas Valtýsson who does surrealist landscapes with death related themes.

The other is Jordan Eagles who creates art with blood.

For anyone interested in anatomy and art go check out the Morbid Anatomy blog.