Strictly Death

Strictly Death: Selected Works from the Richard Harris Collection

On Display at The Slought Foundation, Philadelphia
January 23 - March 8, 2010
Opening reception on Saturday, January 23, 2010; 6:30pm-8:30pm
Free (Reservation not required)

Balloon proudly announces a collaboration with the Philadelphia based Slought Foundation. Strictly Death: Selected Works from the Richard Harris Collection, on display in the Foundation's Philadelphia galleries from January 23 through March 8, 2010. The opening will take place on Saturday, January 23 from 6:30-8:30pm, with a special address at 6:30pm on Thomas De Quincey, aesthetics, and death prepared by philosopher Simon Critchley, author of The Book of Dead Philosophers(2009). Strictly Death is a provocative exhibition that explores the iconography of death across a range of artistic practices. The exhibition selection surveys work by contemporary artists including Jasper Johns, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kiki Smith, Irving Penn, Leonard Baskin, Vik Muniz, the Chapman Brothers, Andres Serrano, and Sally Mann, exhibited alongside historical works and memento mori by artists including Durer, Rembrandt, Goya, Odilon Redon, and James Ensor. The exhibition also includes material culture and historical artifacts including miniature bone carvings by Napoleonic prisoners, bronze sculls from the baroque period, and Day of the Dead illustrations by Mexican folk artist Jose Guadalupe Posada, as well as documentary research into the archivization of death following the genocides of the twentieth-century. Click here for a complete description of the event.

About the Collection

Chicago collector Richard Harris has collected, over several decades, an encyclopedic collection of works on death and related materials. The project spans centuries, genres, and media, with works compiled around the visual concept of the skull and the skeletal. Chicago-based Balloon invited Slought to engage the collection discursively, and to perform a critical examination of the representation of death in the collection. Strictly Death at Slought Foundation is the result of that examination, and will be the first time the collection is presented to the general public. It is our hope that the exhibition will contribute to a transformative dialogue that repositions death centrally within culture. It is the collector's hope that the exhibition enables us to lead more meaningful lives by engaging and grappling with the reality of our finite limits. The exhibition also builds upon recent projects at Slought Foundation on death and dying by Arakawa + Gins and others, as well as international exhibitions including Fraktale IV - tod at the Palast der Republik Berlin in 2005.

About Slought

Slought Foundation ('Sl-aw-t') is a non-profit organization based in Philadelphia that engages the public in dialogue about cultural and socio-political change. We collaborate with a range of partners including artists, communities, universities, and governments to encourage cultural inclusiveness and social activism. Culture means more than preservation or presentation to us; it means the exchange of ideas, the creation of concepts.

Sponsors And Credits

This program is made possible in part through the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Society of Friends of the Slought Foundation. Presented in partnership with Balloon Contemporary, Chicago. Organized by Michael Graham (Balloon Contemporary) in collaboration with Aaron Levy, Osvaldo Romberg and Jean-Michel Rabate (Slought Foundation).

Slought Foundation
4017 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19104
Tel: 215.701.4627
Fax: 215.764.5783

2418 W. Bloomingdale
Chicago, IL 60647
Tel: 773.230.3425

Free and open to the public: Thur-Sat 1-6pm.
Directions available.

Press contact: Aaron Levy, Executive Director