H Hatry & C Bynum : on reliquaries, embodiment and the grieving process

01nov12:1512:45H Hatry & C Bynum : on reliquaries, embodiment and the grieving process12:15 - 12:45(GMT+00:00) View in my timeEvent typePanel / conversationTopicRemembranceSession ID: Session 2A


(Monday) 12:15 - 12:45(GMT+00:00) View in my time

Event Details

Heide Hatry and Prof Caroline Bynum: In conversation: on reliquaries, embodiment and the grieving process

The portrayal of the human image arose many millennia ago, precisely for the purpose of keeping the dead among us. Not just in memory, but in charged ceremonial objects that were intended to embody and preserve their spirits for their survivors. It was a way of integrating the inexplicable fact of death into life, of insuring that the dead and what they meant stayed present and abided with us.

That is exactly the purpose of Icons in Ash memorial portraits, which are made using a proprietary technique by means of which the cremated ashes of our beloved become a poignant, dignified, and enduring portrait. The art-work is our beloved.

Caroline Walker Bynum is professor emerita at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and Columbia University in NYC. Her primary focus is the religious history of medieval Europe. Her most recent book Christian Materiality: An Essay on Late Medieval Religion (2011) examines the iconography and cultural history of relics.




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Speakers for this event

  • Heide Hatry

    Heide Hatry


    I am a New York-based German artist best known for my body-related performances, for employing animal flesh and organs in what is typically viewed as rather conceptually-oriented work, for making memorial portraits out of the cremated remains of people and animals, for my large body of unique artist’s books, and for using all sorts of natural and “non-art” materials in the creation of my work.   In the projects Skin, (2006), Heads and Tales (2009), and Not a Rose (2012) I addressed moral, ethical, aesthetic, epistemological, ontological, and political issues raised by the human use and abuse of nature through bodies of sculptural and documentary work made from detritus of the animal-slaughter industry.