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The Skull Within

"Nothing exists that doesn't touch something else." It is a pity that the most wonderful sayings about life and death, like this one by the Dutch author Jeroen Brouwers, sooner or later are reduced to a witty remark. This is not only the case in literature: in other forms of art we can also see people using the same words, the same symbolism, to talk about a contrast we cannot easily express: life versus death. This demonstrates how the subject leads us to a difficult balancing exercise. After all, the bridge between language and involvement is a very unstable one. Only with well-considered words and symbols we can express things we do not want to name: life, death.

With In Questa Tomba Oscura one could say that a boutade is added to this vocabulary. This is done by reusing old ancient symbols like the skull and the white lily, images that, in baroque and the Christian iconography, refer to the vanitas motif and to hope, in order to redefine them. Even more than direct references to death and to life, the photos and videos of IQTO intuitively make us aware of where we come from, where we are today and what tomorrow could look like.

Promoters: Luk Van Den Dries (UA) & Johan Swinnen (KAA)

Read more: 'In Questa Tomba Oscura - The Skull Within', Review by Yves Knockaert (in Dutch)

(image © Death and the Maiden, 2010)