The magnificent Seven


     Lieve Smout & Boano Prišmontas

     Death is a subject of immense complexity deeply connected with the meaning of our existence. We barely question death even if it is an industry that consumes resources and space on an unsustainable global scale. We propose a close encounter with death through seven simple, yet unbelievable considerations represented as elementary physical compositions.

     A mental aide-mémoire for when we talk about death.

     One (pictured above) - In England the common graves of the nineteenth-century are very deep. If you turn a cemetery upside down it looks like the middle of the city, like a skyscraper.

     Two - Burial plots in London have increased in price three times more than the property market over the last decade. In Hong Kong niches with just enough space to house a single urn, cost as much as a luxury flat.    

     Three - To comply with religious law, the towers of the Yarkon cemetery in Israel have pipes filled with dirt inside their columns so that each layer is still technically connected to the ground.

        Four - If burials continue to remain as popular, the world will need to set aside around 6,500 square kilometer of land by 2050: an area more than five times the size of New York City.

     Five - The Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica in Santos, Brazil has gradually increased in height since 1983 to meet the demand for ‘tombs with a view’. It also includes a snack bar on the roof.

     Six - In Ghana, people are buried in coffins that represent their lives: a fisherman might spend eternity in a box shaped like a carp and a farmer may spend it in a six-foot cob of corn.

     Seven - Each year, over 90.000 tons of steel are buried underground in the United States alone. You could construct a Golden Gate Bridge with that amount of steel.