Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Cementiri del Sud-Oest

25 October.

Cementiri del Sud-Oest (1883) occupies the seaward side of Montjuïc. Its urban layout and architecture a compressed simulacrum of the contemporary city of the living. The high-density blocks of niches have the upper reaches of the hill and therefore a better view of the sea; on the other hand the ornate tombs are lower down and benefit more from the shade of cypress and eucalyptus trees.

In this city of the dead there are many imitations by architects and sculptors mimicking the work of the city of the living. Sometimes the architect who designed for the living also designed for the dead: Puig i Cadafalch built a tomb for the Amatller family with the same stepped Dutch pediment that he put on their house in Passeig de Gràcia, and even used the same sculptor, Eusebi Arnau i Mascort.
That there is little difference between the imagining and formation of the two cities is quite oppressive, and to wander the streets stifling.

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