Illustrating Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

I’ve been thinking a lot on how I can communicate visually the life cycles more effectively within the premise of my project. I remembered my visit to the Wellcome Collection in London during the holidays and I was very intrigued by Sir Henry Wellcome’s collection on medical instruments and surgery procedures. I decided to look into their website and found a plethora of references and articles that are most interesting and relevant to my project. Here is the link to one of the talks I’ve listened to that talks about ethics in displaying human remains ( Some other articles I’ve been reading/listening:

I’ve come across some interesting illustrations from two books that I was reading online, Crucial Interventions and The Resurrectionist. The first book shows 19th century surgery methods and the visuals are very compelling.

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I would like to make some drawings like this about how the balloons will be cut/stitched/powered to work for the parade. I like the last image especially, as it shows some technical devices that is fixed onto the man’s body. I am thinking of ways to draw this detail for the inflatables to illustrate the idea of death/comatose/purgatory states as something technologically driven and not an intangible process. It would help bring a sense of physicality to these ideas.

The Resurrectionist is one of my favourite books now and it is also drawn from a medical/scientific point of view. The book is a fictional biography of Dr Black and it shows how he became a surgeon and then did an anatomical index of mythical creatures thus somewhat bringing them to life.

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I feel I am doing something similar with my project, on giving life to pop culture icons. I am hoping to conclude on some of the main brief ideas by this Tuesday and at the same time working on the two scales to tie up the loose ends of the project. I am thinking for the project, ultimately it’s about addressing death and permanence of objects and the museum itself. Other themes that could be brought up is also the question of greed/consumerism and sustainability. I am still a bit worried on how this museum would engage with the site; should it run on the exact same route like Macy’s or would it start to bleed into the city (like when we were discussing about the shrines that are dispersed in the city to commemorate death). I don’t really know how I should go about this.

One thought on “Illustrating Death, Resurrection and the Eternal

  1. The medical illustrations are a good find to think about how you can forensically show the death and resurrection of the balloons but use these techniques to also investigate what opportunities you will make of the balloons e.g. Possibilities for inhabiting, scaling (as in climbing) It might also want to look at these anatomical models which are a 3D version of the drawings and became curiosities as well as educational objects.
    It will be interesting to start exploring the balloons in 3D, – the interior space, but do they also become solid like these models, something heavy and monumental in some instances.

    With regards to where your museum is. I think it could be both the route and the sites of the feeder events (such as places of fabrication, inflation). What if you made a liturgical calendar based on the parade events throughout the year? What would you need to create to accommodate or celebrate these significant dates? Thus creating a ‘religion’ for NY based on concerns with death, resurrection and eternal youth which also brings in your interest in the messages being sold by Macy’s.

    You might find this project interesting from an AA student a few years ago. The premise is that China succeeds in mining and importing lunar minerals. The project considers the infrastructure for this but really lies in the design of the parade which celebrates this industry as a form of propaganda.

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