In the project ‘Vanitas’ two contrasting artists presented their visions on the extremes of life and death. In his paintings Marc Mulders visualises the sensuousness of creation; on the other hand, in her objects Sarah Lucas exposes the banalisation of reality.
The project let the viewer see two contrasting standpoints through which artists can express their involvement with the world: over against the ugly side of life, as it is singled out by Sarah Lucas, Marc Mulders places the image of the good and the beautiful.
Sarah Lucas (b. London, 1962) places no faith in religion or the beauty of nature. On the contrary, she poses questions about the banalisation of society and the hollowness of our present sense of community. She creates a world that is, to be sure, derived from reality, but in which everything is in an absurd relation to everything else. By disrupting order of the world she seeks to provide an opening for new choices and a new outlook.
The concept of ‘vanitas’ is central to her recent work. A skull with golden teeth refers to the Latin text Ecquid sunt aliud quam breve gaudium (Are these material things anything other than brief delights). A statue of Christ with cigarettes glued to it is a clear reference to the brevity of earthly life: ‘My days fly away like smoke.’ A plucked chicken on a helix represents the transitoriness of the flesh. The self-portraits are reminders of the ephemerality of earthly beauty. Despite its raw reality, the work has a deep humanity and is an exhortation to humility.