December 14, 2011

The Empire of Death








I was at a gallery in Silver Lake about a week ago for a friend's art show.  I happened into a side room and on the walls hung the most amazing photographs of skulls and bones.  One photo had stacked bones  arranged in incredible layouts inside a tomb, another was a skeleton adored in jewels and one showed shelves of painted skulls. When I inquired about them, the curator showed me this book "The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses" from which the photos were from.

The cover of the book was in itself so fascinating to me and I had never heard of an Ossuary. I had to find out more.  So I took a flyer home and looked it up online.

The book by Professor Paul Koudounaris is a photographic journey and the written history of the religious movements from his visits to seventy Ossuaries and Charnel Houses over  4 continents.  

Taken from his Empire de la Mort site Paul writes: "this is not a book about the macabre or death.  It is a book about beauty and salvation.  If you understand that when looking at these photos, then I hope you will chose to read the book."




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