Døden i kunsten

Morten Bøje Steensgaard Larsen, Line Svenning Jensen & Jakob Pagel Andersen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This paper strives to examine the potentiality for a deeper understanding of death obtained through an art appreciation. Since death, in a common sense, is perceived as a void from which no experience can be acquired and communicated, it seems paradoxically that art should be able to enunciate anything about death and, furthermore, provide the spectator with an understanding of the event of death – but nevertheless it does not seem to withhold artistic production from negotiating and thematising death, and, as this paper will conclude, art does not do so in vain. To reach a both broader and deeper understanding of death itself, Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology has been used for the purpose of grasping the event-ness of death. The enquiry of death’s event-ness will show a division of our perception of death. A division that rests upon an authentic or an unauthentic perception, to which, in order to, authentic, apprehend death as an inevitable part of life; one must exert oneself to a Being-towards-death. For the interpretation of art works, is used the concepts of Roland Barthes. The reason for this is to liberate the works of art from the deterministic intention of the artist, which is achieved through anti-intentionalism displayed in his essay “The Death of the Author”. To expand the creativity of the interpretation and destabilize meaning of the icon, Barthes essay “The Plates of the Encyclopedia” is applied to target the subject’s own autonomy regarding the production of meaning in an art appreciation. Thus this paper concludes that though the art spectator have a significant influence in the meaning abstracted from the art work, the art work still contains a unique possibility of a pregnant representation of death, thus leaving the reception of the representation to be fulfilled by the spectator. In this fulfilment art convey an awareness of the existential certainty – that we always are towards death.

UddannelserFilosofi og Videnskabsteori, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2013
VejledereDorte Jelstrup


  • art
  • Heidegger
  • death
  • interpretation
  • fortolkning
  • døden
  • Barthes
  • kunst