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Noticing Death
by Angela Lorenz
 
Edition of 20 copies
14.1"x10"
Bologna, Italy 1993
This edition is packaged in a heavy paper envelope with a black line printed across the upper left corner, like the announcements handed out to friends and relatives when someone dies. Inside such an envelope is a card containing a photograph on the left and a short text or poem on the right. The envelope here, however, contains seven Polaroid transfer prints and one photo paired with eight letterpressed cards with printed phrases that refer to each image. The cards, or broadsides, resemble the death notices commonly plastered throughout the towns of Southern Italy and small towns even in the north, with black cornices or decorative borders, and bold sans-serif typefaces.

 

 
TEXT
   
SOFTPORN
POPCORN

WE BUY
ANIMALS CRY

CIRCUS CLOWN
WE DROWN

ANIMALS REAR
WE DISAPPEAR

ooo

These images were photographed on the streets of Calabria, in Southern Italy, on the Ionic Coast. In this region, the rituals surrounding death are elaborate and fairly uniform. Death notices, however, have no designated area for display. Visibility is the main concern, in order to inform as many people as possible of the death or its anniversary. This means the notices are collaged over and beside circus, advertising, film and shark-show posters, or even on dumpsters. For the residents, it is merely information - the location is of no importance. Taken out of context, these images surprise them, but in daily life, the irony passes unnoticed.

The seven transfer prints, originally in the form of slides, were printed with an instant slide printer and transferred onto damp etching paper with a roller. The text and friezes were printed by Stamperia Valdonega in Verona, Italy on archival paper produced by Cartiere Fedrigoni. The photographs were taken over a four year period by Angela Lorenz and Gianni Figliomeni.

Bologna, Italy 1993