Staging Death, Translating Death, Rehearsing Death: A Photographer’s Apprenticeship in Dying


  • Daniela Fargione Università degli Studi di Torino


Parole chiave:

Claudio Cravero, Photography, Death, Violence, Translation


The preponderance of death imagery in the mass media and a recent interest of photography in the practice of death suggest the need to reevaluate our approach to death and dying, especially when violence is involved. This essay is a case study of History of Violence, Claudio Cravero's last photographic project. His collection of "portraits" reproduce apparent dead bodies, mostly attacked in their own domestic spheres, but neither the perpetrator of death (a mysterious murderer?), nor the weapon used (an omnipresent knife), should be considered as main focal points of the artist's inquiry. The undoubtful protagonist of these photographs, instead, is the light, that illuminates fear: not of death itself, rather of the obnoxious indifference to it, as the result of generalized death imagery saturation.
    The staged apparent death displayed in Cravero's photographs serve both as a memento mori and as a strategy to come to terms with the idea of death. In short, it is an apprentship in dying through a domesticating translation practice. Eventually, Cravero's History of Violence offers a complex reflection on the interplay between each individual story and macrolevel social History, thus providing some hypotheses of where violence and death fit in that odd geometry of time and space that we call life.


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Biografia autore

Daniela Fargione, Università degli Studi di Torino

Daniela Fargione, after her long sojourn in the USA as a Fulbright scholar, where she received her PhD in Comparative Literature, now teaches "English Language and Translation" and "Anglo-American Literature" at the University of Torino. She has translated several novels for Einaudi (the last one is Brock Clarke, An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England, 2010) and published Giardini e labirinti: l'America di E.A. Poe (Celid 2005) and Cynthia Ozick: Orthodoxy and Irreverence. A Critical Study (Aracne, 2005).




Come citare

Fargione, Daniela. 2010. «Staging Death, Translating Death, Rehearsing Death: A Photographer’s Apprenticeship in Dying». Altre Modernità, n. 4 (ottobre):142-55.



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