"Death will come and it will have your eyes –
this death that is always with us
from morning till night, awake,
dull, like an old remorse,
or an absurd vice. Your eyes
will be a vain word
an unuttered scream, a silence.
So you see them each morning
when you lean to look at yourself
in the mirror. O dear hope,
that day we, too, will know
that you are life and nothingness.
For everyone death has a look.
Death will come and it will have your eyes.
It will be like giving up a vice,
like seeing in the mirror
a dead face re-emerge,
like listening to a closed lip.
We shall descend into the whirlpool dumb."
Cesare Pavese - 22 March 1950
This week I visited the Estorick Collection's current exhibition in London: "Viewpoints - Italy in black and white". It notably shows work from Italian photographer Mario Giacomelli, and there's his serie called "Death will come and it will have your eyes", which title intrigued me (don't you think it is reminiscent of giallo titles?).
The pictures were taken in an old people hospital and are particularly poignant and disturbing. The title itself actually comes from Cesare Pavese's poem that you can read above, which is specially moving too.
"Death will come and it will have our eyes", what a thought-provoking idea.