Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Alas Poor Yorick!

Passing through a Leeds shopping mall on my way to work the other morning, my eye was drawn by this blinging handbag! I have observed that the skull motif is everywhere at the moment but this one seemed to me to be referencing Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God" a diamond encrusted skull sculpture. This sculpture and perhaps unknowingly, all the current skull imagery are in the nature of a Memento Mori a reminder of our mortality. I say unconscious because I wonder whether the majority of the age group with whom the skull fashion is popular are not still at an age when life seems endless or rather is lived so much in the moment and well before intimations of mortality impinge. My generation grew up with the threat of "The Bomb" hanging over us like the sword of Damocles and our parents went through a world war whence I am sure they needed no memento mori - Death was all too possible and frequent for you and your loved ones. So perhaps it is this generation for whom even the threat of AIDS seems to have receded, that are embracing the skull and unconsciously saying "Ask not for whom the bell tolls..."

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