Death anonymous

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Jan 27 2013


Category: Europe, Switzerland

1 Comment

A graphic photo of intersecting lines on a white background. Plain and severe. What more can we say about it?

We are on a small, snow-clad cemetery in the mountains. The wooden cross is of utmost simplicity. The two beams haven’t even been placed in one plane. The cross beam has simply been fixed on to the vertical beam and is being kept in place by a piece of iron wire. These details – just like the dry moss – have an impact since there isn’t much else to be seen on the photo.

A cross in a graveyard marks the place where a dead person is buried, but the grave we can’t see. It is covered by a layer of snow. Judging by the crudeness of the cross, the grave won’t amount to anything much either. It’s probably just a filled up hole in the ground.

Sometimes a simple wooden cross signifies a make-shift solution. It says that on this spot a dead person is buried and as soon as the proper gravestone is ready it will replace the cross. In that case the person must have died recently. But the cross suggests otherwise. It looks as if it has been planted here ages ago, and in that case we should think of it as an old, long forgotten corpse.

We know too little for a plausible conclusion. There is no name, and no grave is to be seen. All we have is a rickety wooden cross, a bit of dry moss, and a piece of iron wire. And yes, a dark shadow on white snow.

Photo of the week: Chesières, Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, 2004

One comment on “Death anonymous”

  1. Your simple photographs also give such a deep message. Your messages are as moving as the photos.


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