At the hour of our death
South East Texas
“Death, like birth, is part of a process. However, the processes of death are often shielded from view. Today in Western society, most families leave to a complete stranger the responsibility of preparing a loved one’s body for its final resting place. Traditional mourning practices, which allowed for the creation of Victorian hair jewelry or other memento mori items, have fallen out of fashion. Now the stain of death is quickly removed and the scene is cleaned and normalized.
“These photographs capture and illuminate swatches of bedding, carpet and upholstery marked with the signs of the passing of human life. The fabrics, which are first removed by a trauma-scene clean-up crew, are relocated to a warehouse before being incinerated. I tack each swatch to the wall and use the crew’s floodlights to illuminate the scene. the images are my attempt to slow the moments before and after death to a single frame, to allow what is generally invisible to become visible, and to engage with a process from which we have become disconnected.”
See more of Sarah Sudhoff’s work at www.sarahsudhoff.com. CALL FOR ENTRIES: Seeking Texas-based documentary photography that captures the strangest state. Please send inquiries to .
Filmmakers Mark and Angela Walley follow photographer Sarah Sudhoff as she works on her series, “At the Hour of Our Death.” Learn more about the filmmakers at walleyfilms.com.