Heide Hatry “Icons in Ash: Cremation Portraits”

Ubu Gallery

poster for Heide Hatry “Icons in Ash: Cremation Portraits”
[Image: Heide Hatry "Emily Jordan Boxer" (2016) Mixed media (loose ash particles, pulverized birch coal, white marble dust, beeswax), 14 x 11 in.]
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Ends in 16 days

Ubu Gallery presents the debut exhibition of Heide Hatry’s extraordinary new body of work, Icons in Ash: Cremation Portraits. The portrayal of the human image arose many millennia ago precisely for the purpose of keeping the dead among us. Not just in memory, but in charged ceremonial objects that were intended to embody and preserve their spirits for their survivors and for the community as a whole. It was a way of integrating the inexplicable fact of death into life, of insuring that the dead and what they meant stayed present and abided in us. Heide Hatry, an intellectually challenging German visual artist working in New York, has created a new technique and purpose for portraiture, employing actual human ashes to create meditative images of deceased people, either at their own behest or that of their families.

The exhibition is particularly relevant and timely in light of the Vatican’s response on October 25th to what it called an “unstoppable increase” in cremation and its issuance of guidelines barring the scattering of ashes “in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way.” The Vatican decreed that the ashes of loved ones have no place in the home, and certainly not in jewelry. While the Vatican was silent on the use of ashes in painting, we can assume that Hatry’s work falls outside its newly articulated “canonical norms” and within its idea of “unfitting or superstitious practices.”

The project is accompanied by the book publication, Heide Hatry: Icons in Ash, in which twenty-seven contributing authors, including Siri Hustvedt, Lydia Millet, Rick Moody, Mark Dery, Peter Weibel, Eleanor Heartney, Steven Pinker, Hans Belting, Wolf Singer, and Luisa Valenzuela have offered a multiplicity of perspectives on the human relationship to death. These cover a wide range of topics, from art history through anthropology, psychology, philosophy, semiotics, ecology, and beyond, as well as discussing death taboos, post-mortem practices, personal experience, the impact of the relic and more. A social, deeply humanistic, and an aesthetic project, Icons in Ash, proposes an alternative to the way we see and interact with death, in particular a radically different approach to mourning and consolation, as well as to how we understand the purpose of art at its most fundamental level.

During the run of the exhibition, panel discussions, readings, concerts, conversations, and spoken word performances relating to death, including both participating authors and others, will take place at a number of locations throughout New York City. The events and their details will be announced on both Ubu Gallery’s and the artist’s websites.

Media

Schedule

from December 08, 2016 to May 12, 2017

Opening Reception on 2016-12-13 from 18:30 to 20:30

Artist(s)

Heide Hatry

Website

http://www.ubugallery.com (venue's website)

Fee

Free

Venue Hours

From 11:00 To 18:00
Closed on Mondays, Sundays

Access

Address: 416 E 59th St., New York, NY 10022
Phone: 212-753-4444 Fax: 212-753-4470

Between 1st Ave. and Sutton Place. Subway: 4/5/6/N/R/W to 59th Street Lexington Avenue.

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