Memento Mori Book Signing

Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us
Book Release, Signing & Exhibition

Friday, April 3rd, 7-9pm

Memento Mori: The Dead Among Us
by Dr. Paul Koudounaris
Book Release, Signing and Exhibition Party
Friday, April 3rd, 2015 (the exhibition runs til April 26th)
7-9 PM

Dr. Paul Koudounaris returns to the gallery at La Luz de Jesus with his latest, and by all accounts greatest, macabre display. The world’s leading photographer of the visual culture of death, his new book Memento Mori represents a kind of magnum opus. Having traveled the world for over a decade documenting the use of human bones in sacred contexts, he has distilled beautifully morbid photos from over 70 countries into a single package, filling the new book with the best-of-the-best, from Indonesian burial caves, to gilded Asian mummies, to jeweled German skeletons, to Bolivian skull festivals. And the finest of these images will be on display as part of a show which will open with a book signing on Friday, April 3.

This is a kind of last go-around, since, after ten years among the dead, the author has decided that it’s not possible for him to top the material contained in Memento Mori, and has indicated that it will be the end of his work with human remains–and he’s saved the best for last. This show promises to be a sumptuous visual feast which proves that while death may always be a mystery to the living, it can also be a source of beauty, awe, and inspiration.

Click here to view the exhibition online.

Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Thames and Hudson; 1 edition (April 14th, 2015)
Language: English
Artwork: 500+ color illustrations
ISBN-10: 0500517789
ISBN-13: 978-0500517789
Product Dimensions: 9 x 13.3 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 15 ounces

Death is universal, but the human response to death varies widely. In Western society, death is usually medicalized and taboo, and kept apart from the world of the living, while in much of the rest of the world, and for much of human history, death has commonly been far more integrated into peoples’ daily existence, and human remains are as much a reminder of life, memento vitae, as of death, memento mori.

Through photos taken at more than 250 sites in thirty countries over a decade, Paul Koudounaris has captured death around the world. From Bolivia’s “festival of the little pug-nosed ones,” where skulls are festooned with flowers and given cigarettes to smoke and beanie hats to protect them from the weather to Indonesian families who dress mummies and include them in their household routines; from naturally preserved Buddhist monks and memorials to genocide in Rwanda and Cambodia to the dramatic climax of Europe’s great ossuaries, Memento Mori defies taboo to demonstrate how the dead continue to be present in the lives of people everywhere.

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.


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Contact Gallery Director Matthew Gardocki for purchase info:  (323)666-7667