Day 23: Death Ref John as a 19th Century Postmortem Photograph

Professor Bellows Photography
Mall of America, Minneapolis, MN (USA)

In summer 2006, Argentinian artist Ana Lois-Borzi and I collaborated on a postmortem photography project.

Ana and I both lived in Minneapolis at the time and we had gotten to know each other through the local art scene. Our earliest encounters were at Gus Lucky’s Art Gallery on East Lake Street, which is sadly long gone.

We decided that we wanted to create 19th century-style postmortem photos of each other but we didn’t want to use her studio. So, we did the only logical thing we could. We went to the Mall of America’s old timey photo studio (linked to above) and paid to have one of their eager-to-please employees take our photographs.

The catch was this– we didn’t tell the photographer what we were doing so we became ‘dead’ right as the photo was taken.

Ana Lois-Borzi Postmortem Photograph

It was obvious to us both, that Ana was far better at becoming dead than me. It’s in the hands, we both agreed. My hands don’t look very dead. Ana’s hands = totally dead.

We had plans to travel around the United States so that we could visit as many old timey photo studios as possible.

Alas, I moved and we put the project on hold.

But one day, and hopefully soon, we’ll both go back to being photographically dead.

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