Saturday, August 2, 2008

my pre-mortem autopsy

My friend Sara took this photo of me while I was being photographed in the autopsy room of the Mortuary Science building at a large urban research university in the midwest. Some of the photos that the university photographer shot (the dude perched above me on a stool) were pretty awesome. There was a model skeleton in the room that we moved to the background of some of the shots. There was also a sink behind my head that we filled with extremely large kitchen knives. And yeah, I guess they use those knives on cadavers sometimes. I brought a lovely glass cockroach with me as a prop. Critter gave it to me as a birthday gift one year, and it made an appearance in several of the photos--an homage to Mary Roach. I'm not sure at this point what photo the library's PR contact will choose for the READ poster, but I'm hoping it will be one of the shots where I'm lying down, looking dead, with Stiff on my chest. There are also some photos where I'm sitting up (with the skeleton in the background), but I think those are less original. Probably the library will go with the typical shots. That's okay, I guess, because eventually I'll get a CD of all the photos.

Btw, the photo team was awesome. I guess they usually shoot university events, graduations, and official university portrait photos, so this was a definite change of pace for them. After the scene in the autopsy room, we went outside and got some great shots of my friend Megha posing in skinny jeans with her chosen book Un Dun Lun by China Mieville, and of my friend Sara posing with David Sedaris' book Me Talk Pretty One Day.

I can't wait for the READ posters.