Mausoleum-Photography: Kitsch for the Dead

Spannendes Fotoprojekt von John Faier, der für seine Serie Queen Of Heaven Mausoleen aus dem Amerika der 50er Jahre fotografiert hat. Als BWL-Idioten, Politiker und Finanzfuzzis das Land nämlich noch nicht kaputtgewirtschaftet hatten, konnten sich dort Durchschnittsverdiener eigene Totenhäuser leisten, das Ergebnis ist eine seltsame Mischung aus Andacht und Pietät und ‘nem ziemlich schlechten Geschmack für Interieur.

America in the ’50s was a time of consumer optimism. The post-war economy was booming and in addition to brand-new tract houses and shiny state-of-the-art appliances the popularity of a more opulent burial style was also on the rise. Instead of being buried in the ground, American consumers where choosing to have their remains eternally enshrined in polished beds of marble at public mausoleums. […]

Like the mausoleums built for kings, queens, and heads of state, the tombs of the 1950s were often extravagant. But they were also uniquely contemporary, Faier says, and borrowed from the kind of design that dominated the times.

“Bright colors, matching upholstery, matching lamp shades — the architecture reminds us more of a cocktail lounger or hotel, not of a mausoleum,” says Faier, who scoped out seven mausoleums in Chicago and others in suburban New York and Los Angeles. “The peculiar mix of modernism and death reflects the things most kitsch, troubling, and beautiful about our modern culture.”

Hotels for the Dead: Mausoleums Reveal Spectral Light and Kitsch Decor