For my exhibition I chose to focus in beliefs of what the after life was like for different cultures and representations of the dead. I have always found it interesting that so many different cultures and religions have a strong tradition or belief about how to prepare for the afterlife. In this exhibition I will be discussing the similarities between cultures that represented royalty in order to be preserve after death and cultures that prepare for the afterlife. The artworks I chose were “head of an Akkadian Ruler”, “Moche portrait Vessel”, “Terracotta Army”, “Seated Gudea Holding Temple Plan”, and “Tombs of Reliefs”. All five of these pieces show the different ways that cultures viewed death and the importance of remembrance. Some of these are meant also as a tribute to ones life and share a piece of their story. They protect tombs or stand in as a place holder after death so that their body can forever remain. The thought that goes into these pieces are very profound and impressive.
I chose the "Akkadian Ruler" because it is an example of the want to preserve an important individual after death. Usually only royalty had these creations of themselves. Though the representations may be idealized, they still depict the unique facial features of the individuals so that they are recognized and can be remembered in their most ideal form. In this piece it is clear that he was not beloved by the people by the obvious damaged caused by someone gouging the eyes of hid representation.
The "Moche Portrait Vessels" were all made to be portraits of the ruler at the time. They are very individualized by the variation in facial features. Some of these vessels would even be recognizably the same person but aging. Its as if these vessels would hold the memory of the time the individual spent as the leader or ruler of the time and show the stages of their life.
The "Terracotta Army" were made to protect the tomb of Qin Shi Huang and scare off looters. Each warrior has an individual face with few repeats. The realism could support that this army was a representation of the army that served Qin Shi Huang. There is also evidence that they were painted to look even more realistic.
The reliefs were made to be a resting place for the past soldiers. They were meant to represent the armor from the past worriers on the walls. Room designed to be considered a great dining room with cushions and drinking utensils. They believed that the resting place of the warriors would be represented in the afterlife for those individuals so that they could have a comfortable after life. These tombs could have held dozens if burials.
This is a statue of Gudea, the ruler of Lagash. He made this statue of his self so that he could be preserved forever working of the gods. The statue is made of diorite, a very strong fariaty of rock. The intention to last forever is very clear by the material it is make of and by the pose he is in. With the hands and feet together there are no out reaching parts to be broken. The only damaged part was the head. There is also text written all across the skirt of the figure where Gudea shares his story and gives us the explanation of this statue.