Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, believed that Eros (Greek God of Love) as the life instinct and Thanatos (the Greek God of Death) as the death instinct cannot exist without each other. Eros being the drive of creativity and love, is associated with harmony among people while Thanatos, being the drive of death and destruction, prefers negative feelings like hate or aggression.
In 1992 the theme of International Museum Day was Museums and the Environment. That year Thanatos was having a feast. The war was raging in Croatia depriving museums of their environment, buildings, collections, and visitors. Croatian designer Boris Ljubičić created a poster using photomontage, a pre-Photoshop method of combining images of two completely different museum exhibits. One was the skull of the Neanderthal Man from Krapina and the other a Roman portrait of a girl found in Salona, an ancient capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia (today Solin near Split, Croatia).
The artist’s idea was to blend two opposed concepts by combining the girl symbolizing life and the skull symbolizing death. Their amalgam, this artistic Frankenstein, seems absurd but being signed “Croatia 1992” sends a message—something horrible is happening in that country. Indeed it was a year of war in which Freud’s Thanatos drove away Eros.