Andrew Kötting’s In the Wake of a Deadad is a book like no other. It is a memoir, a demented exorcism, a mad travelogue, a compilation of different writers’ meditations on death and a series of tragicomic elegies in the form of doodles and photos as well as prose. It is that rare thing: an art book that is not merely eye candy to be gawped at for a few minutes and then consigned to the coffee table, but a deeply moving work that merits several rereadings. In the Wake of a Deadad is stuffed with visual gags, photomontages, scans of the author’s heart. Its formal messiness is strangely life- affirming, distinct as it is from the dry-autopsy mode of most father-son memoirs. The most un-English of books, it appears to be a series of bad-taste japes, but is in fact an exceedingly affecting and serious challenge to our received notions about how best to deal with death – and life. Only 1,000 copies of this beautifully designed and produced artefact have been published; snap one up while you can. – SUKHDEV SANDHU, New Statesman
In the Wake of a Deadad is Kötting’s powerful, often uncomfortable reflection on the recent death of his father. His Deadad. The book includes the replies of an Invitation to Write that Kötting sent out to 65 individuals. Each was encouraged to write in response to four photographs of Kötting’s Deadad, including one of his dead body laid out in the chapel of rest. As well as Kötting’s own musings and confabulations about the project there is an introduction and conclusion by Gareth Evans and contributions from the likes of Adam Chodzko, Laurence Coriat, Mark Cousins, Jem Finer, Tony Grisoni, Gregorios – Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, Sean Lock, Iain Sinclair, Dr Muhammad Shabbir Usmani, Janni Visman, Fay Weldon and Eden Kötting. This book accompanies an exhibition.