By Lieneke Hulshof

In many African and South American countries, mourners dance as they carry their dead to their graves. There is singing and those who attend a funeral create an exuberant celebratory atmosphere. The Jewish community embalm a body and in Pakistan relatives and friends watch their loved one being cremated. The work of Voebe de Gruyter shows how detached the Western culture deals with the bodies of its dead. As soon as a person dies, the body becomes a corpse that we will rarely stroke, look at or hold. Our physical aversion to death is remarkable because – at first glance – there is hardly any difference between a dead person and one who is sleeping.