In July 2020 Joanna Ebenstein will be offering an 8-hour online course in the history, mystery and art of the memento mori:
Death is the great mystery of human life. Each of us – barring some medical miracle – will die. Foreknowledge of our own death is a defining characteristic of humanity; the ancient Greeks reserved the word mortal – meaning ‘subject to death’ – for humans alone. Some people believe that it is foreknowledge of our own death that drives all human culture, from religion and philosophy to mythology and art.
With the current global pandemic, our awareness of death is closer to us in the industrialized West than it’s been in over a century This historical moment will, for most of us, pass. This class seeks to use this moment to look death in the eyes, to get to know it, to create a closer, less fearful relationship with it. To make friends with it. And to create art from that encounter.