3D printed replica of the artist’s skill
Limited edition of 12 + 1 artist’s proof (includes certificate of authenticity and custom hardwood display base)
Kimberly Mead and James Young, illustrations by Prem Krishnan
162 cards, ages 17+
$25 for the game, $12 for the expansion pack
Jason Ferguson’s Anamorph (half-scale) is a 3D-printed sculpture generated using CT scans of the artist’s skull. The replica has been skewed drastically and reveals the accurate skull from only one vantage point. The artist has collaborated with medical teams at the University of Michigan Health System and Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago for his body-based works. The sculpture reflects innovations both in medical technologies and 3D-printing, and also pays homage to art historical motifs. The skewed skull is a direct reference to Hans Holbein the Younger’s painting The Ambassadors (1533). Like Holbein, Ferguson employs anamorphic perspective and asks viewers to move around the work to find the right location for seeing the skull accurately. In addition to providing a visual puzzle, the skull, for Holbein, Ferguson, and countless other Renaissance artists, serves as a momento mori, a reminder of the inevitability of death.
Although Renaissance painters were well versed in momento mori, contemporary artistic and cultural discourse often shies away from this difficult topic. Morbid Curiosity is a game that offers fascinating trivia and prompts players to engage in delightfully dark discussions. Game designer Kimberly Mead explains its origins, “I was working at a grief center, facilitating a children’s group. … The kids approached a subject most adults see as grim and taboo. They asked all sorts of questions that would make most adults squirm. The kids were simply… curious. I had a realization: Adults need something to help them to regain their wonder with death.” The game is designed to allow players to move between conversation and playfulness, ultimately reigniting our innate curiosities about mortality.
Jason Ferguson is Professor in the School of Art & Design at Eastern Michigan University. He often uses processes from scientific disciplines to create works of art. Kimberly Mead works as a grief and trauma therapist in Austin, Texas and is an accomplished photographer. James Young is the front man for the Austin based Irish punk band. Prem Krishnan is a Seattle-based artist and has worked in the gaming industry for decades.