DEATH MORT TOD
A European Book of the Dead
by Steve Finbow & Karolina Urbaniak
Collaborationists Steve Finbow and Karolina Urbaniak's Death Mort Tod uses fiction, non-fiction, appropriation, cut-ups, and a series of over fifty unsettling illustrations to tour the dark sites of Europe with its millennia of genocides, mass murders, serial killings and suicides. A country-to-country death trip, a necro-travel guide, a Baedeker of bereavement, incorporating myth, folklore, maps, reportage, photographs, recordings, illustrations and poetry. Discover a continent’s thanatic history within a textual and visual reliquary – A European Book of the Dead.
Text by Steve Finbow
Images by Karolina Urbaniak
Foreword by Eugene Thacker
Afterword by Brad Feuerhelm
''Death Mort Tod is a beautiful, haunting, moving and unsettling seance of texts and images, sometimes whispering, sometimes screaming, but always, already, never more urgent and necessary than now, Now, NOW.''
There is my death, and there is the death of another. There is the death of the individual, living being, and there is the death of others, of many others, of entire populations, entire peoples, of the embalmed multitudes that form the ramified, forensic architectures of human history. There are living beings, huddled together in temporary assemblages of meaningful organization (the polis), and there are the tombs, the mausoleums, the cemeteries, the archives of the dead that themselves form an entire city, a necropolis. There is my death, a human being. There is the death of the species, the strange event of extinction that leaves not even a final member of the species to bear witness to its own end.
From the foreword by Eugene Thacker
Softbound with flaps, 120 pages, 51 illustrations, 210 x 256mm
How Europeans craft an image of their decline as an entity of ends is beyond simple framing. It exists in the psyche, in the unsolicited desire to cache the ‘phoenix syndrome’ of its impoverished state into a catalogue of possible and triumphant if short reincarnations. Beaten, chained, whipped and scourged, the fluidity of Europe through centuries of shifting empires, gallivanting atrocities and unbridled warfare has created a European that needs to be hammered like the ploughshare of existence into a gleaming sword and then beaten back into a ploughshare ad infinitum. Without defeat, manifest dissection would not be possible. The cycle continues and the image that Europe caters to itself is ultimately that of failure, decline and inevitable collective death and rebirth and death and rebirth and Frankenstein’s monster and zombie preternaturalia.
From the afterword by Brad Feuerhelm
About the authors
Steve Finbow’s fiction includes Balzac of the Badlands (Future Fiction London, 2009), Tougher Than Anything in the Animal Kingdom (Grievous Jones Press, 2011), Nothing Matters (Snubnose Press, 2012) and Down Among the Dead (Fahrenheit 13, 2014). His biography of Allen Ginsberg in Reaktion’s Critical Lives series was published in 2011. His other works include Grave Desire: A Cultural History of Necrophilia (Zero Books, 2014) and Notes from the Sick Room (Repeater Books, 2017). The Mindshaft will be published by Amphetamine Sulphate in 2019. He lives in Langres, France.
Karolina Urbaniak is a photographer, multimedia producer and co-founder of Infinity Land Press. Urbaniak’s published work includes To Putrefaction (M.Bladh, K.Urbaniak, 2014), Altered Balance – A Tribute to Coil (J.Reed, K.Urbaniak 2014/15), The Void Ratio (S.Levene, K.Urbaniak, 2015), Artaud 1937 Apocalypse (S.Barber, K.Urbaniak, 2018). Her recent multimedia projects include the soundtrack for Darkleaks - The Ripper Genome (J. Reed, M.Bladh, 2017) and the audio/visual installation On The New Revelations of Being (M.Bladh, K.Urbaniak 2018) inspired by the work of Antonin Artaud. She lives and works in London.
Eugene Thacker is the author of several books, including In The Dust of This Planet (Zero Books, 2011) and Infinite Resignation (Repeater Books, 2018).
Brad Feuerhelm is an artist and the managing editor for American Suburb X. He lives in Slovakia.