1000°C - Photographic views of modern cremation 1000°C - Photographic views of modern cremation
1000°C - Photographic views of modern cremation
© Museum für Sepulkralkultur, Kassel, Bildarchiv
Photo: Marcus Düdder


18. September 2005 – 8. January 2006

1000°C – Photographic views of modern cremation

Photos by Marcus Düdder

The afterburner chamber of a modern cremation furnace reaches more than one thousand degrees. After about seventy minutes, only an average of 1.5 kg of dust and ash remains remain from a human dead body, filled into a standardized capsule container ready for a ceremonial burial. The ritual staging of death meets a highly technical, rational handling of the corpse.

Today, cremation accounts for over 40% of all burials. Experts assume that in ten years a rate of over 60% will be reached. And with this the funeral culture in Germany changes clearly.

Today, cremation is considered modern, hygienic and cost-effective. But it also causes problems in the mourning process, in grave design and in environmental protection. By no means all crematoria are equipped with the most modern filter technology, not even those in Poland and the Czech Republic, where many corpses are taken to be cremated.

On the occasion of the Day of the Cemetery 2005, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture is opening the exhibition "10000 C – Photographic Views of Modern Cremation", to focus on this highly technical form of burial. On display are photographs by the Dortmund photo designer Marcus Düdder: with his camera, he chooses a clear, objective approach that clearly shows how thin the line between reverent treatment of the corpse and sober cremation really is.

The exhibition specifically addresses people who have not yet made the decision between "fire" or "earth" for their own burial.

The exhibition is supported by the Kassel cemetery administration as well as the Kassel cemetery gardeners, stonemasons and morticians.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz