Yes, as the Idiot Photographer’s last post indicates, it’s time to take off the heavy silver cross, wipe off the eyeliner, and return to the ranks of the cheerful and well-adjusted. This is my last shot from Buenos Aires’ Ricoleta Cemetery, and I will be moving on to showing photographs of the rest of the city, where I had a remarkably lower success rate.
Most crypts at Ricoleta Cemetery are tall and narrow, with their front wide enough to accommodate a glass fronted double-leaved door. Through here the interior is clearly visible. Many crypts have a small altar on the back wall, and off to the side there are often very narrow stairs which lead to the catacombs. It is also not uncommon for the caskets to be interred right in front of the door, often on stone shelves built into the wall. I tried many shots of various interiors, but dim lighting and lack of tripod (they are banned at Ricoleta; I had mine with me but wasn’t about to risk getting kicked out for using it) made it tedious. The two below are my best attempts; the latter is actually and HDR bracket I was able to pull off by wedging the camera into some wrought iron designs long enough to shoot off a few different shutter speeds.
As I’ve noted in my last post, the statuary in Buenos Aires’ Ricoleta cemetery tends toward the hyperbolic. Mies van der Rohe, of the famous “less is more” dictum, would be spinning in the grave under his minimalist granite slab of a tombstone should he have been interred here. Here follow three more photographs of angels and maidens, eternal in marble.
Really, what is the point of being dead if you don’t have stone figures mourning your passing in perpetuity? Ricoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires has them in spades, in varied poses and shades of grief. For the pre-deceased, I offer an instructive tour on what to get when you’re getting sad statuary.
You have the basic somber girl, eyes downcast. It is always a girl, as homophobia is a spectre that follows you to the grave, apparently.
For the more dramatically inclined, there is the crypt-top pose.
But why be so subtle? Let them know how truly sad they are at your passing with the Cadillac of mournful statues. Yes, a marble woman draped across your tomb will undoubtedly drive home the point that it sucks that you’re dead.
It occurs to me that cemetery photography is a bit like cat photography. In each case, there’s only so much variety in subject matter, yet some find each incredibly photogenic. Of course, the audience for cemetery pictures is many magnitudes smaller, but the principle is the same. And just as with cat pictures, many people roll their eyes at the gloomy, heavy, gothiness of this kind of photography. But critics be damned, I can’t help it; put me in a graveyard, and the pictures practically take themselves. So, if your enthusiasm for this series is flagging, my partner the Idiot Photographer will do her part to counterbalance this gloom with… gloom of the urbex variety, perhaps? On second thought, if you’re tired of gloom, perhaps this is not the blog for you. Maybe go see what’s on the Food Network? Anyway, here is another post in this series on Buenos Aires’ Ricoleta Cemetery.