There is No Death (Work in Progress)

There is No Death is an ongoing body of work which explores the border between the living and the dead, between the messy physical world and the dimension of ideas and culture where our grief resides. Each image in series presents a different example of the many ways in which we attempt to deal with loss, to make it rational or even reasonable, and ultimately to deny the reality of death.

There is No Death: Albert

This is an impossible view of the Albert Memorial assembled from multiple photographs taken over a 4-month period in different lighting conditions. The Albert Memorial is a particularly garish attempt to triumph over loss and grief by the creation of an overblown monument conflating the gilded beloved with the history of empire. On the one hand this is a very personal tribute from a grieving widow to the love of her life. On the other hand, this is a vast heap of references, stacked towards heaven, all making the case that a middle-aged German aristocrat personifies the apex of all human progress. The global reach of the British Empire and its economy are presented as proof. In retrospect the monument epitomizes the problematic nature of the Western world view during the age of empires. Much of this seems implausible now, the remainder remains problematic. The pseudo-gothic design, once seen as an invocation of the depth of Northern European history, now seems tasteless overblown. The structure is rendered poignant, a monument to both unbearable personal loss and the loss of belief in a national mythology.

There is No Death: Forest

This image is made from various views of a forested cemetery in Reykjavik, Iceland. This synthetic view of the cemetery creates the impression of an impassable maze. The deceased are memorialized and reincarnated as trees, creating an artificial forest in a country almost completely devoid of trees. This seems like a triumph of European romanticism and the Modernist cult of Nature, and yet this is a thoroughly artificial ecosystem.

There is No Death is an ongoing body of work which explores the border between the living and the dead, between the messy physical world and the dimension of ideas and culture where our grief resides. Each image in series presents a different example of the many ways in which we attempt to deal with loss, to make it rational or even reasonable, and ultimately to deny the reality of death.

There is No Death: Albert

This is an impossible view of the Albert Memorial assembled from multiple photographs taken over a 4-month period in different lighting conditions. The Albert Memorial is a particularly garish attempt to triumph over loss and grief by the creation of an overblown monument conflating the gilded beloved with the history of empire. On the one hand this is a very personal tribute from a grieving widow to the love of her life. On the other hand, this is a vast heap of references, stacked towards heaven, all making the case that a middle-aged German aristocrat personifies the apex of all human progress. The global reach of the British Empire and its economy are presented as proof. In retrospect the monument epitomizes the problematic nature of the Western world view during the age of empires. Much of this seems implausible now, the remainder remains problematic. The pseudo-gothic design, once seen as an invocation of the depth of Northern European history, now seems tasteless overblown. The structure is rendered poignant, a monument to both unbearable personal loss and the loss of belief in a national mythology.

There is No Death: Forest

This image is made from various views of a forested cemetery in Reykjavik, Iceland. This synthetic view of the cemetery creates the impression of an impassable maze. The deceased are memorialized and reincarnated as trees, creating an artificial forest in a country almost completely devoid of trees. This seems like a triumph of European romanticism and the Modernist cult of Nature, and yet this is a thoroughly artificial ecosystem.