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'The Morgue' - Andres Serrano

Andres Serrano‘s series of photographs The Morgue investigates ideas of death and our relationship with it.  Working with a forensic pathologist Serrano photographed the bodies with a near classical beauty rarely associated with the morgue.  Serrano ensured the anonymity of each person through tight cropping or veiling the face.  The way in which the light interacts with the bodies and their veils is reminiscent of Italian baroque painting.  The chiaroscuro of each photograph seems to underscore some mystery behind death balancing the morgue’s comparatively cold analytic approach.  Further, the careful attention to detail and composition dignifies each person.  Each subject, some actually unknown persons, are considered individually as initial shock gives way to contemplation and reflection.  However, these are not sentimental images.  There still remains a certain emotional detachment, a terrible loneliness in death, and Serrano’s intention is ambiguous.  Each photograph’s title is each subject’s respective cause of death, and have been inserted in each photographs’ caption.’ via boum!bang!