Vivat vita. Memento mori
4 February 2011 —  6 March 2011
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The exhibition of Italian and Russian artists "The Life and Death" in Erarta

Memento mori — is the greeting of monks from Trappist Order, which was founded in 1664. In this time numerous theologians predicted that after two years the End of the world would be. End of the world did not come but a Trappist greeting became the catch phrase. According to many philosophers, namely the understanding of his own death makes the man as the spiritual man (Homo spiritus). Animals and children protect their lives instinctively, but they do not understand what death means. Of course, even the spiritual man has the most vague and contradictory views about death, and these views may drastically change over time. For some people, death is a complete non-existence, for the second — other-existence, for the third — reincarnation, for the fourth — transition to other levels of existence, for the fifth — transformation from the personal to the universal vision. However, all agree — death is the last point of the earth the way the final chord of human life, after which something else unknown comes. But even after the finale person can continue his way in the works of literature, art and science. As Hippocrates said "Viva brevis, ars longa" (Life is short, art is longevity). Art defies death and decay. Art confronts the destructive madness bubbling in the world. Art, like a fairy tale living water, enlivens and animates the dead space.

In this project, death appears as the twin of life, which through the arts free immortal spirit from matter! It is allotted exactly one page for Life and Death, and each artist gives his interpretation of these two form-building of human concepts. Italian artists make twelve variations of this theme and twelve variations — the artists of Russia.

The number 12 is chosen not by chance. 12 is the number of life cycle in many religious and epistemological systems of different countries. Day and night consist of twelve hours. 12 months form the annual cycle. The 12-year cycles according to religious beliefs of peoples of Central and South-East Asia, divided the whole of human life. This calendar cycle is correlated with 12 inter-related reasons, which are located around the world, where all levels of consciousness and their development. In Christianity, 12 also played a huge role: the 12 tribes of Israel, 12 gates of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the 12 apostles of Jesus. The 12 tribes of Israel, will be judged in the hour of the last trial on 12 thrones. 12 in square = 144 the number of special elite. The 12 was a cult number in mythology of Greece: 12 Olympic gods, 12 Titans, 12 labors of Hercules, etc. In Buddhism, the process of reincarnation of living creatures is a wheel, formed by 12 steps. In Islam, the 12 imams run twelve hours of the day. You can multiply and multiply the magic senses of number 12 — they are the three momentum in the four elements, over-absolute number, a symbol of the philosopher's stone, the number of faces of the dodecahedron, which means cosmic universe.

However, we must note that the 12 being played a key role not only in mythologies and religions. From a scientific point of view the universe is also based on the number 12. Elementary Particle Physics allocates 12 leptons, 12 quarks and12 bosons, from which all matter actually consists. 12 is a key element in lives, since carbon has exclusive importance in the biogenic compounds and carbon has the number 12 in Periodical table.

And maybe, a man has 12 ribs no by chance! And God created Eve from the rib of Adam, and name Eve translated from Hebrew means — life!

Mikhail Pogarsky

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