This has been a truly hectic week and I have barely had the time to clean the apartment, much less doing something fun. But I just finished the first chapter of Beyond the dark veil: Post mortem and mourning photography from the Thanatos archive and it’s just such an amazing book. It explains the history of photography, social structures and the context of post mortem pictures in an easy yet professional and scientific manner, actually it resembles a lot of the articles and literature I’ve studied and I enjoy how educational the book is. I wasn’t expecting that much information from it, which is a really nice surprise.
Now, I’m only about 80 pages into the book but I find it extremely fascinating and hauntingly beautiful. So far, the only thing I dislike about it is that the text is rather small and printed on very glossy paper. It makes the photographs justice but is kind of impractical for reading purposes. Not that there is a ton of information, but it is enough for it to get uncomfortable when the light jumps back at you from the pages.
When it comes to the size of the pictures I think the size is really good, most of them are shown in original (1:1) scale, all measurements shown beside the images. Of course you can find scanned/photographed versions online which makes it possible to increase the size but I like the feeling of seeing the pictures as they were portrayed originally. They’re not enormous paintings, they’re mementos.
Hopefully I will get the time to take some good pictures of the book with my actual camera but until then, here’s a sneak-peek.