Jason Oddy

The idea of immortality has fascinated humankind for as long as civilisation has existed. For his series 'Dying Is Not Good For You' Oddy visited the two main cryonics facilities in America to investigate our most recent attempts to realise this age-old dream. In Detroit, Michigan and in Phoenix, Arizona he documented the mundane relics of this quixotic experiment in deep-freezing. A multi-body storage vat shaped like some Heath Robinson contraption. Another looking as if it had stepped out of a Max Ernst painting. A wall of photographs of now ice-bound ‘cryonauts’ waiting to be reanimated. Canisters containing only frozen heads. As Oddy’s work attests, while the cryonics industry’s promise of bringing you back to life ostensibly depends on some far advanced, still obscure technology, at its core this unproven science is driven by primitive and magical thinking.

A follow-up to Waiting Rooms (his series on homes of the recently deceased) as well as to his work on the hyper-sterile architecture of morgues, 'Dying Is Not Good For You' is suffused with a cool, melancholic air. The pictures doubtless conveying the fact that while living forever might at first sound like a good idea, the reality of life without end might actually be too much for humans to bear.