Memento Mori’, (remember that you have to die), is the medieval Latin theory and practice of reflection on mortality, especially as a means of considering the vanity of earthly life and the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. Its themes were still in place into the late 19th century, where other plagues such as ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis) and small pox would devastate the populations of the world in equal measure as the Yersinia pestis bacterium had done from the 14th century onwards. The 19th century would mark a golden age in the celebration of death, from the continuation of late 18th century phantasmagoria, to the popularity of séances at the end of the century. By the Victorian period there a developed a cult of death, from established funeral practices such as deathbed watches and periods of mourning for up to two years. A cultural performance resembling a theatre of death.
Theatre de la Mort / Memento Mori
Recreation of titlepage with added historical elements. Printed on handmade paper resembling the look and feel of paper from the period the work was produced (8.5" x 11"), or textured watercolour paper (5"x7"). Printed with archival inks, and packaged in protective sheet and cardboard backing.