“Memento Mori” an installation by Kelly June Mitchell, Sep. 1- Dec 19, 2013, Woolworth Windows
The Broadway farmer’s market is always rejuvenating, filled with wonderful sights and smells. On your next visit to the market, while passing by the fresh picked flowers keep your eye out for this serendipitously placed art piece. Behind the colorful bouquets, this large installation of paper flowers draws you in with beauty, then upon closer inspection invokes contemplation.
Kelly June Mitchell provides great insight into her work: “In Latin the phrase Memento Mori means “remember that you will die” But day to day most of our time is spent denying this. We do everything we can to create distance between ourselves and death. We cling to medical technology and put ourselves on diets to cleanse out the toxins. We create rituals to remember the dead. We bring flowers to graves in an effort to convince ourselves a part of the departed is still with us, that part of them still lives. Even our language has evolved to distance ourselves from death, we’ve invented cute idioms to describe death “bought the farm”, “pushing daisies,” bringing to mind a pastoral landscape rather than our own mortality. All this distancing is understandable, death is entirely overwhelming.”
“Memento Mori is a site specific installation that consists of an overwhelming amount of sickly-sweet pink flowers. Pink is not a color generally associated with death, usually it’s considered the color of youth and innocence, something we think that death cannot touch. At first glance the wall seems like a celebration of life with all the bright flowers everywhere. But then you notice the pallid white hands reaching out from the flowers. The gesture of each of these hands is actually a letter in sign language. Strung together, the hands spell Memento Mori, reminding you that even amongst life, death can’t be ignored.”
For more on the work of Kelly June Mitchell visit her blog www.weavethebower.tumblr.com