Necronomics, Lincoln's Grave, Data Death (2016)
SAVVY contemporary, Berlin
The Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles has been at the forefront of the funerary industry for the past 100 years. Its first manager Hubert Eaton was an art collector, that revolutionized the cemetery format and attracted the upper class and celebrities to be buried in his theme-park-like cemetery as part of his business strategy(among them Michael Jackson and Walt Disney).
Since the American Civil War embalming has been the defining practice of commodified death industry in the United States. Popularized by orchestrated viewings of Abraham Lincoln’s embalmed body, it gained nation wide reputation by returning the bodies of dead soldiers back to their families.
Legacy and death of US presidents, not unlike those of their communist counterparts, are symbolically memorialized through large scale mausoleum and library architecture. The election of Donald Trump raises speculations about his legacy and its ceremonial manifestation.
A speculative lecture performance looking through the eyes of journalist Jessica Mitford into the past and future of the US-American death industry.