The exhibition explores the memento mori, the symbol of vanity, in contemporary art. Looking back at art history, it appears predominantly as a motif in still lifes representing objects that symbolize the transience of earthly things; but taking a larger view across the ages, we may discern a more wide-ranging visual vocabulary. The particular conceptual points of departure for this show are the video installations by Douglas Gordon (b. Glasgow, 1966): “24 Hour Psycho Back and Forth and To and Fro” and “Looking down with his black, black, 'ee” (both 2008), both pieces from the museum’s own collection. It is here complemented by other works from the holdings of the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung Basel, the Emanuel Hoffmann-Foundation, and a few loans. Andy Warhol, and Bruce Nauman are represented as well as younger artists like Wolfgang Tillmans.