FIRST PHOTOBOOK SHORTLIST: The Prospect of Immortality

Murray Ballard
The Prospect of Immortality

GOST Books, London, 2016
Designed by Stuart Smith

In The Prospect of Immortality, Murray Ballard explores the international cryonics community and their face-off with “the problem of death.” In a collection of portraits and chilly scenes of scientific equipment, chemicals, and operating theaters, Ballard traces the activities of those who attempt to stave off the inevitable via what Don DeLillo calls, in his latest novel, a “medical procedure guided by mass delusion, by superstition and arrogance and self-deception.” Ballard, however, does not deprecate the hopes and ambitions of his subjects. Their stories are told on an even keel, as he takes his subjects’ claims at face value. “This is a solidly presented, well-researched project,” says Martin. “It’s a mesmerizing story, told through the combination of historical anecdote, quotes from those involved, and clinically composed, occasionally creepy photographs.”

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