Death and Culture, York University 1 - 3 September 2016
Abstract Submission Alysia Trackim, Northumbria University
The Dos and Don’ts of Grieving Properly. Or: How to have a conversation about grief.
In 1969, Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross published On Death and Dying. A need for a real, tangible, and predictable understanding of death and dying solidified the book in Western society, one whose references are still used today.
As an artist, I explore and question the unresolved nature of complicated grief, a grieving disorder that arrests a person’s ability to grieve functionally. In 2015, I found myself in an empty gallery with less than four days until the opening of my first solo exhibition. Using photographic practice and public events, I released grief into that space. The response was polarised.
We’ll look at artists, philosophers, psychologists, and writers and how they examined grief through use of their medium. We’ll explore this messy, crumbly experience, and question how we may subvert this, in a discussion around the profound resistance of public acknowledgement of grief. We’ll talk about it.
Barthes, R., Léger, N. and Howard, R. (2010) Mourning Diary. New York: Hill and Wang.
Breen, L. J. & O’Connor, M. (2007) “The fundamental paradox in the grief literature: a critical reflection.” Omega: journal of death and dying. 55 (3) 199-218.
Derrida, J. (2001) The Work of Mourning. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kübler-Ross, E. (1969) On Death and Dying. New York, NY: Macmillan.
Lewis, C. S. (1960) A Grief Observed. London: Faber & Faber.
Pratchett, T. (2014) Shaking Hands with Death. London: Corgi Books.