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Ian Curtis’ headstone

Contributed by Love Lagerkvist on Sep 16th, 2017. Artwork published in .
    Bernt Rostad. License: All Rights Reserved.

    The original stone, 1980

    Much has been written about Joy Division, Ian Curtis and the tragedy of his death. The best of these texts is probably the late Mark Fishers’ essay from Ghosts of My Life, where he writes:

    The male lust for death had always been a subtext in rock, but before Joy Division it had been smuggled into rock under libidinous pretexts, a black dog in wolf’s clothing – Thanatos cloaked as Eros – or else it had worn pantomime panstick. Suicide was a guarantee of authenticity, the most convincing of signs that you were 4 Real. Suicide has the power to transfigure life, with all its quotidian mess, its conflicts, its ambivalences, its disappointments, its unfinished business, its ‘waste and fever and heat’ – into a cold myth, as solid, seamless and permanent as the ‘marble and stone’ that Peter Saville would simulate on the record sleeves and Curtis would caress in the lyrics to ‘In a Lonely Place’.

    Today, we can visist Ian at Macclesfield Cemetery. His final resting place was originally marked with a beautiful hand-carved plate. In a style typical of British vernacular (and rather similiar to Albertus) it is almost as austere as the music he once wrote.

    Sadly, the original stone was stolen in 2008, and replaced with … sandblasted Helvetica in all caps.

    Source: Daniel Case. License: CC BY-SA.

    The new stone, 2008


    • Helvetica




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