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By Culturekiosque Staff

PRAGUE, 26 JUNE 2011 — Despite public outcry online and off, Czech artist Krištof Kintera's self-financed installation Memento Mori: 'Of One's Own Volition' was officially launched at a lighting ceremony on Thursday 23 June at 8 pm in Folimanka Park. The ten-meter-high work, in the shape of a twisted street lamp whose light beams upwards, invites passers-by to turn their gaze upwards and spend a quiet moment contemplating life's ups and downs which in certain tragic cases cause people to make irreversible decisions.

Symbolically, and thus the source of its criticism, Kintera's sculpture is located beneath Prague's Nusle Bridge from which hundreds of people have jumped to their deaths over the course of the artist's 37-year life. Official statistics give figures in the range of 200 – 300 suicides since the 42.5 meter-high bridge was completed in 1973.

According to an artist statement, the controversial Prague installation will be accompanied by a website presenting two opposing views on the voluntary termination of life, a list of crisis intervention centres, a discussion forum, photographic documentation and other contributions on the subject of suicide. Some Czechs consider suicide a "cowardly" act. 

Memento Mori: 'Of One's Own Volition' is not the only artwork of its kind in Kintera's artistic practice. A close 'relative' is to be found in Tiburg in the Netherlands, where he used a similar approach to produce the work Miracle.

Artist's Website:

Headline image: Memento Mori: 'Of One's Own Volition'

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