Facing Death at Recoleta
BUENOS AIRES – One of the worlds great necropolises, La Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of affluent souls. The prestigious families of the city outdo one another for architecture and opulence, erecting impressive mausoleums to honor their dead.
Among the tombs, hundreds of statues hold court over this city of the dead. Angels, gods, saviors, cherubs, and mortals populate the cemetery with a second citizenry made of marble and bronze.
The entrance to Recoleta is through a wide neo-classical gate with thick Greek columns. Sun shimmers through trees onto thousands of tombs. The path branches and splits and suddenly the cemetery is a daunting labyrinth.
How should I orient myself? Looking this way and that, I saw her face. Eyes closed, wearing a simple white marble garment and wielding a sword, she leaned against a sunny tomb. I looked from her face and saw a dozen more figures surrounding me.
I raised my camera and clicked. This is how I would explore Recoleta, one face at a time.