I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
Friday, August 21, 2015
Book Review: Burden of Wings by Mauro Marinelli
A new art book for the cemetery enthusiast is out,
one that captures the true essence of the graveyard as a gateway between the
living and the dead, with inspirational photos.
Wings is a well-composed
book of cemetery photographs taken with, of all things, a Polaroid camera. Photographer
Mauro Marinelli shoots with a well-trained eye, offering the reader what he
calls “the instant and the everlasting”
all in one shot.
The beauty of this instamatic
camera process is that you see exactly what this moment looked like at the time the
shutter snapped; there’s no digital manipulation, no Photo-shopping to make the
image more dramatic, more enticing, more moody.
Just life as it existed in a cemetery at a certain moment in time.
Marinelli uses this camera to his advantage, letting
the plastic lens soften the focus a bit, making the images become almost real
to us. His focus on hands: clasped, reaching, comforting, quieting … allows us
to identify with the statue while creating a subconscious wish for movement; a will
to release the stilled hand from its pose, allowing it to complete its movement,
and to continue the moment …
But as we know, in death, physical movement is gone,
no longer feasible, and with these sculptures and photos, no longer necessary
to capture our attention, to evoke a deeper sentiment, or to execute a
Marinelli provides us with the essence of each
stone, managing to coax out our emotions regardless of our wishes.With cogent intent, he “commits the act of photography” - offering the reader a photo; one which
holds the passion of a two lovers forever locked in a kiss, another depicts the weariness of an angel’s shoulders as her wings begin to droop
protectively around her.
With Burden of
Wings, we are called to interpret each photo with our emotions, and with what
we see. As Marinelli explains, we are “looking
into the abyss of the unknown from a safe seat in the arena of the living.” How
true, and how exquisite the journey!