I am fascinated with the images used to represent a loved-one who has died. Driven by this fascination, I initiated a year-long project in which I collected the obituary images of people reproduced in the newspaper. Each day I would select a single image from the SF Chronicles Obituary section and a short excerpt of unrelated text from a news story printed on the verso of the page I found the image. I combined these two elements onto a 4x6 index card.
The moments captured in these images - first day of college, a family gathering, an engagement, wedding, or anniversary celebration, an afternoon spent with a neighbor - are all unique and unrepeatable, like the lives they represent. While collecting these images, I was struck by the fact that the people in these pictures were unaware that the photo being taken at that precise moment would be the very one to announce their passing to the world and summarize their life.
Photography possesses the ability to capture an instant and manifest it as a unique event in the constant stream of moments that make up a lifetime. These obituary images become the analogue to the identity, memory, and lives they represent. They are the connection between the past and the present, the body and the soul.