I met Daniel Duarte when he was a student at Mount Ida College studying photography with Michael Donnor.
Daniel sent me the following information about his series, “That Which Remains”:
The inevitable, the unknown, the darkness, and finality, are the descriptions of the only certainty in life, death. Death is a natural occurrence, yet we package it, stamp it with a product, sensationalize, and commercialize the very act of death. Day in and day out, I am faced with death. To many, I am the face of death. I am the reality, the harsh fact that a loved one is now gone. As a Mortician, death is my profession.
The images created in this series, “That Which Remains”, are created with symbols of death. The flower, at one point an object of love and treasure is soon forgotten, left to dry, and within days wilts unceremoniously. Images distributed by families in obituaries are treasures of the past. They conjure imagery of a past long forgotten, and free of pain, free of the reality of death. Income disparity segregates even the dead; economic reality diminishes ones life into a three-line death notice with a pixelated image while those of significance are adorned with rewarding biographical pieces.
Each plate is paired with a portrait of the deceased. The plate of the flower that once momentarily represented the now deceased; are permanently captured in silver and light. And it can be found in the banality of the flower, purchased on the way to a funeral service that unceremoniously forever represents as a portrait for the deceased. In the span of days, I witness objects turn from mementos of remembrance, to objects discarded and forgotten forever. The flower does not remain, and yet in my world it is that of the two that is never forgotten. These are the photographs of the objects that which remain.
Daniel Duarte is a Boston based photographer whose work is based on the concepts of life, death, and the relevancy and importance of time. Daniel graduated from Bowdoin College as a painter, later transforming himself into a photographer. As a funeral director and mortician death plays a direct role in his photographic work. His latest series, “That Which Remains”, are a series of diptychs created using modern digital methods and wet plate collodion as a response to the commercialization of death and the objects we value and so quickly forget.
You can see more of Daniel’s work here.
All photos: © Daniel Duarte.
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