r o a d s i d e
2018 - ongoing
According to Catherine Exley, author of The Sociology of Dying, Death and Bereavement, death has become increasingly institutionalized. Thanks to increased life expectancy and the privacy allowed by end of life care, most of us will not see the private face of death in a personal way until at least mid-adulthood. Even then, it is often clearly broadcast beforehand, and takes place in the relative comfort of a medical setting. Coupled with the erosion of traditional mourning rites and practices by an increasingly secularized society, the way America mourns is unique in a sociological perspective, as it is often very tightly controlled and happens within designated spaces such as cemeteries.
One small exception to this rule is public, unexpected death, especially car accidents. This series focuses on roadside memorials, and the way they function as a final portrait of the dead. Often overlooked, often maintained for years by a single family member or friend, and always intimate, these tributes are some of the last public mourning rites common in America.
I hope that these photos offer a respectful insight into these moments of mourning and remembrance, and act as a sort of final homage and portrait of those we've lost.