From distorted skulls in Flemish paintings to Hirst's "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," artists throughout the ages have used an endless variety of media to respond to the inevitable brevity of human life.
Momento Mori, translated roughly from Latin, means "Remember, you will die." It has become a broad umbrella term for art dealing with themes of life and death.
Despite the heaviness of the subject, it can be treated lightly. Candy Chang's "Before I Die" project is a great example. Her collaborative, community-based project is at once humorous and harrowing. Some responses are prosaic and others are poetic.
For more on Candy Chang, go here.