Bastienne Schmidt

February 6, 1997 - March 1, 1997

Image © Bastienne Schmidt

Image © Bastienne Schmidt

Image © Bastienne Schmidt

Image © Bastienne Schmidt

Bastienne Schmidt

This body of work is about death. My tool in the understanding of it has been photography. After having traveled in Latin America for 5 years, I found there not an understanding of death, but of life- how people deal with pain, loss and final departures. I visited urban areas in Colombia; I spent time in the highlands of Guatemala; I visited Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Cuba.

What touched me the most being in Latin America, was the sense of caring in a community. When death occurred, family and friends were there. Even children ran around the caskets inside the funeral homes.

There is a sociology of death. It makes us all so equal. The gestures of mourning correspond.

I have mounted these images together, I see them as fragments. I have been collecting these images like pieces to a puzzle. I am reminded of my father at work. He was sitting at a long table. Spread out in front of him were pieces of terra cotta, ceramics from Attica. He would find two pieces fitting together. He was a step closer in his search. He was an archeologist.

I am not necessarily documenting the world around me. I am trying to create an archeology of the soul.