America after life

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Kehayoff, 2000 - Photography - 96 pages
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The photographer Martha Laugs visited cemeteries in Mexico and the American southwest over a period of several years. She came across graves that were memorable as well as droll. Some were obviously regularly visited: in Mexico people had picnics in the graveyards -- and left their plates behind. Others were abandoned or had fallen into disrepair, the name had disappeared or was "unknown." The most memorable were those that the descendants had created themselves: the motorcycle set in the grave, possibly the cause of death, to carry the soul straight to heaven; the grave of a deceased rancher decorated with flowers in cowboy boots. From the silence of the cemetery arises an eloquent testimony to the final chapter of American cultural history. In an accompanying text the New York art historian Daniel Kletke examines the contemporary American cult of the dead.

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