Il Teatro Dei Morti

Benjamin Jones, US/UK, Cornell University


Title: Il Teatro Dei Morti

#adaptation #collage #ritual #urbanism #liminal

The city and the cemetery are inherently the same — the city acts as a canvas for architecture, typologies, forms built from antiquity to present, to be used, adapted, die, be destroyed, killed, degrade — then be reformed, reappropriated, in perpetuity. Smilarly, the cemetery is a space that houses the bodies, our natural vessels, in addition to coffins, artifacts, and memorials (usually built forms) that humankind have created and will inevitably be reused, recycled, and reconfigured. This is why so many cemeteries are deemed vital public spaces within our cityscapes — they oftentimes become heterotopias, gleaming with both natural life and human activity that was not intended for such a site upon its conception. From biodiversity to gay cruising, cemeteries have organically adapted spatially to the needs of its contemporary users, both from a biological and an anthropocentric standpoint. What has not organically grown and adapted, however, is the relationship between the city and the cemetery — what exist still are anachronous liminal spaces and rituals that can bring you from the land of the living to the land of the dead but serve neither end appropriately. This is what calls for revolution.



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