Tuesday, December 10th: Danse Macabre: Death and Material Ecologies in Brittany

    Date: 12/10/2013

    Time: 8:00 pm

    Location: Brooklyn Observatory (543 Union St., Brooklyn)

    Price: $8

    Ossuaries, skull boxes, widows weeds and material substitutions for bodies missing at sea figure in many travel narratives, popular images and paintings of Breton coastal culture. Many representations depict the seemingly anachronistic practice of reburial of the body, several years after its interment; the ritual function of the ossuary in the churchyard; the display of individual skull boxes in the church and ossuary; and the hybrid Celtic-Christian culture of death lore, Toussaint and the Ankou (grim reaper) in Brittany. A range of artistic topographies have been written onto the Breton landscape, mapping out an ecology of place, obsessed with the pervasive nature of death. Maura Coughlin will explore topics of death, mourning, waste and ecology in coastal Brittany from about 1850 to 1940.

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