For an installation now on view at the National Gallery of Victoria Triennial, Mueck created 100 giant human skulls, which are piled around and on top of each other. The work, the museum notes, recalls the piles of bones in the Paris catacombs, as well as the killing fields of Cambodia and other places where people have slaughtered each other en masse. The skull has a long history as a symbol in Western art, too. In the still life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries, skulls would represent the certainty of death and the fleetingness of life on Earth.
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