Or: the little book of horrible death.
Just a little backstory: I found this book on forensic medicine that has some of the loveliest pictures in it. Of course, it’s all of hideous wounds and dead people, but there is one image of the trachea of a drowned man; filled with shells. Such a gorgeous juxtaposition — pretty little shells, washed into a dead man’s throat like those holiday souvenirs.
I recreated the images, superimposing their injuries onto myself/a willing model. Each drawing has a page over it with a cut-out square, framing the image like those labelled pictures you find in textbooks. Below the square is a label: “Figure 143 (a) - passenger in front seat thrown against dashboard.” “Figure 55 - deceased was kicked to death.” “Figure 62 - made with a heavy iron spigot.”
The pages are also interspersed with other quotes from the book. My favourite I must share with you:
“A powerfully-built man, six feet in height, under the mistaken impression that he had venereal disease, attempted to hang himself.
The rope broke at its attachment to the bough, but the drop tightened the rope around his neck so much that it could not be freed.
He then travelled 150yards to a barbed-wire fence and attempted to sever the rope on one of the barbs.
He cut a large wound in his neck without freeing the rope and then succumbed to asphyxia.”
More images here: here.