“Memento Mori”

Nancy Plotkin, "Heads"

Nancy Plotkin, “Heads”, oil on canvas

Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that evokes both the natural passage through life to death and the act of remembering the mortality of each of us. In Memento Mori, eight artists offer personal reflections on the genocides of Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, and Bosnian Muslims during the last century.The art works form a kind of sensory testimonial, triggering historical memory and a collective awareness of our losses and limitations.

When Hitler began his genocidal campaign he was confident that the rest of the world would not stop him. His words “who remembers the Armenians?” correctly projected that the Third Reich could undertake limitless carnage against the Jewish people, and the world would not stop it.

“Never again,” was the refrain that captured peoples’ sense of individual responsibility in the aftermath of the Holocaust. But, as genocide happened again and again throughout the 20th century, it became clear that “never again” meant “never again would Germans kill Jews in Europe in the 1940s.” Genocide continued throughout the world, including Cambodia, Rwanda, and Bosnia.

LIPA was originally created in 1997 in Washington D.C. with the “Artists for Peace” program, which sought to bring greater public attention to the tragic war in former Yugoslavia, and since then has presented scores of exhibitions, lectures and performances.

This exhibit has been partially funded by Illinois Arts Council

Curated by: Vesna Rebernak