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Waking From the Dream of Death

By Misha Lipsky

It would take a genius to calculate the odds of Hubble-telescope photographs of distant galaxies intersecting with photographs of mummies from Guanajuato in the same visual space, but those odds are delightfully defied in the most recent work of artist Jod Lourie. That intersection of unlikely images is not, however, a matter of chance or play.

It arises from a definite vision of the fate of the mummies and a compassion for their incomplete return to the elementary particles of the universe. For that reason, her latest exhibition is entitled “Waking From the Dream of Death.”

As Jod Lourie herself says, “As an artist that has always been drawn to things that other people look away from, to me the mummies seemed trapped between heaven and Earth, in that they had never been allowed to disintegrate back into their essential makeup and join the natural order of things … Research in astrobiology has determined that all the elements on Earth, including ourselves, were cooked up over time by nuclear reactions inside stars … Our death then is the breaking apart of our essential elements which return to the cosmic soup and will resurrect into new life over and over again …”

Lourie is best known in Europe and the United States for her white porcelain wall reliefs depicting themes from her Catholic childhood and for her bronze and granite tables with legs of cast vegetables. In a recent switch from the sculptural, she has combined camera and computer to create images of New Mexico in patterns like those of Navajo rugs. Having developed the interaction of camera and computer, she has now turned those skills to the reintegration of the mummies of Guanajuato into the universe.

The exhibition at the Bellas Artes, will be from October 29 to January 31. It will be an abbreviated version of “Waking From the Dream of Death.” The full exhibition will be on view in Querétaro in February at the Museo de la Ciudad, February 8 to March 15, 2016.


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