"No vaccine for death."  Kind of a somber title for an extortionary piece of artwork in downtown Bismarck.  Have you seen it yet?  It's located at 113 North 3rd street on the backside of the Van Horn/Prince hotel.  I took a stroll in downtown Bismarck on Sunday morning and found this very interesting mural.

I guess when I first heard about this, I thought this was a pro-vaccine message by some local artist.  After all, when you examine the piece of art and read the title, it's hard not to come to that conclusion.  As it turns out, I was "dead" wrong.  More on that in a minute.

This form of artwork is known as "wet plate collodion."  According to Wikipedia, this type of artwork goes all the way back to 1851.  A guy by the name of Frederick Scott Archer was credited with the invention of this kind of art.

What's unique about this very rare kind of photography, the silver used in the process will not degrade (the images are silver on glass).  In a thousand years, these photos will still look the same.  Incredible, and only about a thousand people on this earth can even pull off this form of photography.   You also need a special camera made in Italy.

Shane Balkowitsch
Shane Balkowitsch
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This particular wet plate collodion piece took some 90 people over the course of 18 months to complete.  Marek Dojs a professor at the University of Mary was the director of this large collaboration.  According to Shane Balkowitsch, none of the artists were paid for doing this project.

Shane Balkowitsch
Shane Balkowitsch
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So, how about the title "No Vaccine For Death?"  It's misunderstood.  This art piece is about the pandemic, it is based on The Triumph of Death, an oil panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted in 1562.  It's not a statement about vaccines.  Instead, it's a message about doing something special in life.  Speaking with Shane Balkowitsch over the phone he told me, "We're all essentially dying from the minute we are born on this earth.  We need to live every day to the fullest.  The artwork is about the pandemic but not vaccines.  There's no vaccine for death."

Shane Balkowitsch
Shane Balkowitsch
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Again, you can check out this incredibly unique piece of artwork in downtown Bismarck at 113 North 3rd street.


 

 

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