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					Sketching Death in
       Art
  Bodies, Dying, Death
• The art of the past reminded
  people of the coming end like:

• Grim reaper (dried-out skeleton)
• Danses macabre (memento mori)
• Baroque Vanitas (beautiful bodies)
      Chosen Subject

• The theme of death as the place,
  where the confrontation of
  science and art is more
  reflective than anywhere else
    Social Background
• Death has to be an integrated
  part of individual and social life
  in our society
• Death now is clean and has
  been removed from our life to
  hospitals and nursing homes
         Leitmotive
• An uncomfortable subject for a
  great number of people, much
  lied about. Even in our
  language we often refer to
  people having “passed away” or
  “departed” – rather than died.
    First Impressions

• In 1987 Hans Bankl M.D.
  professor of anatomic pathology
  invited to sketch bodies
   Department of
Pathology St. Poelten
          Challenge

• The principal concern – through
  the art – is to imbue the public
• To make the zone of death
  visible
         1987 - 1992
• A lot of
  pictures arise
  to a cycle
  called „Body
  without Soul“
 Area of Investigations

• The autopsy room as an artist´s
  space is standing in a long
  tradition which started in the
  2nd half of the 11th century.
The confrontation with
 death as the center of
   artistic remarks
Working in the Autopsy room
      The Dead Body
• Death seems to have become more
  far. Now we study discease and no
  longer death
• Death is regarded as a phenomenon
  that is not very well understood.
  The cadaver is still the body and
  already the corpse
Sitting close to the body
    to record the last
examination and the act
        of autopsy
Confrontation instead of
       Disgust
It is hard to find a more
realistic of death than in
     an autopsy room
 There is no taboo in
the art, death must be
       accepted
Shock is not the Focus with
  Blood in the Limelight
 Problems of Sketching
     Death in Art
• The artistic work is fraught with
  difficulties: to show something
  that does not exist anymore -
  life.
         Eyewitness

• An artist has to show something
  missing, a loss, a deficit
Analytical Confrontation
• Death is one of the taboos of
  our society, as is sex
• Death....when it is documented,
  seems abstract, unreal
    Body without Soul
• Over the last 12 years men,
  women and children have been
  portrayed in the cycle “Body
  without Soul“ before the coffin
  finally closes
 Everyone dies his own
        Death
• The individuality is in the flesh,
  the exact unexchangable
  condition of everyone.
• Only a dead person itself is a
  dead person
The Dying of the Others
• Nowbody learns about his own
  death, but everybody can learn
  about death of the others.
• Death is the climax of life. With
  death everything is gone and
  nothing
       Temporal Life
• The temporal life, always a
  usual life, individual, unique,
  irreplaceable is a final life.
• It ends with death, nothing
  more and nothing less
Death has many faces
          Age of Life
• There is a difference of life but
  not of the end, of the
  destruction
• Dying is a natural accident
The younger the dead person
is, the more death will touch
        the living one
       Art and Death
• One of the biggest
  confrontations is the studying of
  the human body. There is a vast
  difference between a living and
  a lifeless body, the latter is
  missing something - the elan
  vital
       The last Print
• To record the last attempt of
  human individuality before the
  onset of final decay
• to make a last print before the
  body will be cremated or
  decomposes
   The Taboo of Death
• There is a need to avoid any
  confrontation because people
  are afraid of death
• The collective repression of
  death has a far reaching
  consequence (quality of life)
   The Color of Death
• The fable world of the interior
  of the body
• The brilleance of the color
• The landscape of organs
• The point of view of the art
       New York

  The Mount Sinai
  Medical Center
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
        1992 - 1993
• Alan L. Schiller M.D. professor
  and chairman of Pathology
  gives his permission to paint
  various aspects of autopsy
  pathology
Alan L. Schiller M.D.
  Mount Sinai Morgue
• Creating a large painting
  (triptychon) to grace the
  entrance of the autopsy suite of
  the Hans Popper Department of
  the Atran Laboratory
Sketch of the painting
  Mount Sinai Morgue
• The inception to create the large
  painting on canvas was in
  november 1994 at the Michael
  Kisslinger Gallery Soho/New
  York. It took over a month till
  the work was finished
• The paint is
  dark-blue
  and the
  color refers
  to coldness,
  emptyness
  and peace
             Coats
• More than 20 coats were needed
  to get the brilliance of color and
  the beauty of the appearances in
  the interior of the body
     Working at Night
• By day in the harsh lighted
  autopsy room at Mount Sinai
  Medical Center, by night in the
  empty gallery surrounded by a
  dark room and the paintings of
  „Body Without Soul“
   Difficulties with the
         Artworks
• A taboo is hurt
• The confrontation is painful
• Shock instead of happiness
The Uncertain Certainty

• At the beginning of life death
  has already started.
The three Parts of the
    Tripthychon
Left Part

• The acrylic
  painting shows
  the rigidity of
  fingers and arm
Middle Part
• The deep black
  inside the body
  is contrasted
  with the
  glistening reds
  and oranges of
  the organs
Right Part

• The expression
  of the face
• The sufferings
  are over
• The worn-out,
The Uncovering of the
      Picture
Unnatural Death
Hacked to Death
    Junk Objects
New York in 1992/1993
Serial Photo Production
• Parts of collected junk objects
  in the streets of N.Y. City like
  shop-window dummies,
  dinnerwagons, bodybags ...were
  the impression for this cycle.
Someone is at the wrong
place at the wrong time
  Thrown away like the
life, objects tell the story
  of its works and days
       A hunt for
 circumstances, a hunt
for how, where, when,
why, a reconstruction of
  the scene of a crime
  Sometimes a whole
biography is there in the
         cast
The wounds and scars
gathered in a lifetime
The way people die is a
 reflexion of the way
       they live
The rich die differently
  from the poor, the
  ignorant from the
       educated
Death remarks the end
 of the physical body
   The Final
The Death of the Self
         Diagnosis

• I have to die
• You have to die
• All have to die
          Therapy
• Confrontation for everyone
• The Taboo of death is a
  deception
• We have to study death and not
  only disease
     CURRICULUM VITAE
1957 Harald Koeck born in Salzburg/Austria
1981 – 1986
• Salzburg International Academy of Fine Arts
  - graphic arts
• Salzburg University of Salzburg Arthistory
• Salzburg Exhibition Art Gallery Weihergut
• Salzburg “Craft of Illusion” drawings for the
  book of Gerhard Amanshauser
1981 - 1986
• Salzburg Exhibition at the House of Art
• Salzburg “100 Years Spring Palor” at the
  House of Art
• Vienna Exhibition at the Theatre of Courage
• Vienna Academy of Fine art Friedensreich
  Hundertwasser
• Ulm (Germany) Kornhaus Gallery
• Budapest (Hungary) Kilato Gallery
1988
• Vienna Stubenbastei Gallery
• St. Pölten General Hospital - the project
  “Body without Soul” at the Department of
  Pathology – Professor Hans Bankl
1989
• Hamburg (Germany) Airport Gallery
1990
• Vienna Exhibition “Body without Soul”
  Austrian Culture Center Palais Palffy
• Melbourne (Australia) Gryphon Gallery
  Unversity of Melbourne
• Vienna Exhibition “Body without Soul”
  Medical Center
1991
• Vienna documentary video “Body without
  Soul” and presentation at the Center
  Auditorium of the Medical University
• 1992 Vienna Exhibition at the Federal
  Museum of Pathology and Anatomy
  (Narrenturm)
• Eisenstadt Exhibition Museum of Austrian
  Culture (Death Triumphant)
1993
• New York City (USA) - project “Unnatural
  Death“ – Homicides, Suicides and
  Accidents
• New York City Mount Sinai Medical
  Center Pathology Prof. Alan Schiller
  (paintings and drawings in the morgue)
• New York Exhibition Gallery Kunstschalter
• Kassel (Germany) coffin installation at the
  Museum of Sepulchral Culture
1994
• New York City Death in Art - guest lecture
  University of New York Fashion Institute of
  Technology
• New York City Triptychon “Mount Sinai
  Morgue” wall painting at the entrance of the
  Hans Popper Department of Pathology
• New York City “Body without Soul”
  Michael Kissinger Gallery
1995
• Vienna Exhibition Congress of Medical
  Ethical General Hospital of Vienna
• Vienna Red Ribbon art installation
  “Children with AIDS” Gerngross store
1996
• Belarus (Russia) “Little Blue Man”
  Rememberence 10 Years Cernobyl
• Vienna Exhibiton “Unnatural Death in New
  York City” photographics
1997
• Vienna Production of the movie “Thoughts
  about Death”
1998
• Vienna Art therapy project for children with
  drug problems
1999
• Purkersdorf Art teacher at a privat college
Sketching Death in Art
        End

				
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