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On Death and Horses and Other People

"On Death and Horses and Other People," featuring images by Czech photographer Markéta Luskacová, opens Oct. 23 in the Heritage Gallery and runs through Jan. 18, 2012. An opening reception is set for Sunday Oct. 23, at 2 p.m.
Luskacová began to document the Czech Carnival (Masopust) in 1998 and has photographed more than 40 carnivals in Bohemian cities, towns and villages, where this pre-Lenten procession involves music, dance, costumes and feasting.  Masopust was widely suppressed in communist Czechoslovakia, and has only reappeared in a cultural renaissance since the democratization of the Czech Republic.
The poetic title, "On Death and Horses and Other People," works on two levels: On one, it references two of the types of masks used by the people celebrating Masopust; on the other, it alludes to the death of winter and the birth of spring.
"On Death and Horses and Other People" is a companion to the MSU Museum's year-long special exhibition, "MASK: Secrets & Revelations." "MASK," the Main Gallery exhibit, explores issues of spirituality, perceptions of self- identity, power and authority, rites of passage, and the place of people in nature, as well as masks in sport and war, and in the popular media. The "MASK" exhibit includes approximately 250 masks from around the world, many on view for the first time. The exhibition is also the backdrop for a number of collaborations and programs, many drawing on MSU classes in poetry, visual communication, and interactive multimedia projects.