“The book is one of the strongest, best and most extraordinary I have ever seen. It deals with death – something most of us do not want or do not feel able to deal with in such a visualy way. And it is about what remains after we die.
What makes the book – actually there are two books – so good are the acuteness in design, the gentle dealing with the pictures, and the sequencing. Requiem could easily have gotten stagy, and I do not want to imagine the showcased pictures on a website, on a weblog or in a newspaper. They only work like this – with space between them and arround, coloured, and with the thick application of colour. The book may be called morbid; still it is a pictorial, gentle – although direct – morbidity we are confronted with. If we want to get involved with” – from the “dienacht” book review by Calin Kruse
Harald Latzko –
Requiem is a piercing memento on the ephemerality of being, taking us from mind numbing freezing petrification to a boiling sea of flames in haunting aesthetics.
Designed by Matej Sitar from the angry bat particularly the Special Edition in a rusty metal box conveys the heaviness of this subject matter in a perfect way.
Rudolf Strobl –
How can you picture death? Goran Bertok answered it in a very formal way in his project Requiem. The title is divided into two books, POSTMORTEM and VISITORS.
POSTMORTEM introduces us to a world we normally stay away. As Bertok puts it:
“Mostly, we don’t even try to imagine what is happening with a dead body. Most people don’t see the mid stage between a deceased and an urn. We envision a deceased as a living human who is motionless, who sleeps. And then we receive the urn. We don’t try to imagine what happens in between.”
The pictures present the human body in a visual mode, like a still life- on the very surface of the “thing itself”. We observe details of various bodies and nearly “feel” their materiality, like the structure of the remaining skin. We do not see a human being. We see a dead body:
“You see in a crematorium what is spared to most of us. You see the difference between the word death and a total decay of a body. When someone dies we talk about that person as of deceased, we talk of him as of a person but there you see that nothing remains after death.”
Flipping through VISITORS, firstly there is the strong visual quality of the photographs themselves- to become a second later shocking after realizing, what we actually see. But this got me even more thinking about the meaning of the photographs. Those photographs don’t make you think about death but about life.
Requiem comes in a slipcase and with an additional text. The titles of the books are carefully engraved in each of the two covers and the slipcase itself, nearly invisible. Both books are hand-bound (stiched) and printed in a very high quality. A beautifully crafted book you should not miss in your shelf.
Andrej Brumen Čop –
Goran Bertok rarely exhibits his photographs, but their convincing and irrefutable power stays somewhere deep in the unconscious. The Angry Bat decided to publish two complementary series in book form. Great care has been taken with all technical details of design and printing and even though the book is a small format, the dignity of Bertoks pictures has been perfectly preserved. The creepy images come to life in an esthetic form that silently speaks: Memento mori.