Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us

Paul Koudounaris (Author)
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Product Details

$60.00  $55.20
Thames & Hudson
Publish Date
April 14, 2015
9.0 X 0.9 X 13.2 inches | 3.5 pounds

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About the Author

Paul Koudounaris received his doctorate from the art history department at UCLA. His previous books include The Empire of Death and Heavenly Bodies. He lives in Los Angeles.


10 Best New Photography Books of Spring 2015
Visually stunning . . . documents how different cultures around the world from Ethiopia to Rwanda to Nepal honor their dead.
Part history lesson, and part documentary. . . . This is a fascinating book that points out the evolution of the perception of death and the dead in various cultures.
Koudounaris is a skilled photographer, as the 500+ pictures in this oversized book attest, but even more so, he's a skilled and sensitive historian, who brings an anthropologist's empathy to the task of documenting and framing the varied practices depicted in the book. . . . Oversized with an embossed cover and spine, Memento Mori sports outstanding color prints and beautiful design.
A stunning portrait of how human remains are used in devotional and decorative ceremonies throughout the world.
Show[s], in stunning visual terms, mankind's universal desire to cross the threshold of death and continue a meaningful relationship with those who have departed.
Skull after painted or bejeweled skull relays a story that's as much about life as it is about death. . . . There's something intangible here -- how 'memento mori, ' literally meaning 'remember that you will die, ' isn't always a looming threat, and tangible human remains can evoke love and respect for life.
Some of the most jaw-dropping imagery you'll ever encounter.
Paul Koudounaris aims his lens at cultures where the dead play key roles in the lives of the living--as in a Bolivian festival where skulls are strewn with flower petals, or on Indonesian islands where the mummies of deceased family members are kept at home and given a place at the table, both literally and figuratively.
Compelling essays explain how life is celebrated by honoring the physical remnants of the body. Some may find the topic morbid, but the images are undeniably beautiful, haunting, and visually striking. The book's cross-cultural approach portrays death as a transition, rather than an 'irreversible and impenetrable' border. Recommended for readers who are both fascinated with the macabre and comfortable with their own mortality.
Memento Mori is led by the visuals: spellbinding images of decorated skulls, elaborate burials, and other death-related customs from around the world.