Sally Mann’s artistic approach is honest and open; she holds true to her theme, the transitory nature of life, or as she refers to it, quoting her friend Gretel Ehrlich, the /Lessons of Impermanence/. With their flawless imperfections, Mann’s images, both unflinching and evocative, portray themes universal to man such as time, loss, death and mortality.
We, Ellen-K Willas and Anette Skuggedal, have the opportunity to work with Fotografiska in producing this exhibition. Together with Maria Patomella we have been on a journey in Sally Mann’s world.
/People don’t talk about what happens when they die. Years ago, sex was the unmentionable thing; it’s now death. We have a new prudery: We no longer bristle at the scandalous display of a woman’s ankle—Now, we refuse to acknowledge the realities of death: Keep it in the nursing homes, let the chemical-heavy funeral industry handle the bodies so we don’t have to.
…But, despite these efforts to curtain off the process, there is life in death. In these pictures, taken at a forensic study center in Tennessee, life was feeding on the dead bodies; the beetles and worms were making inroads and leaving behind soil into which stray seeds would sink their fiber-y roots. Soon grass, “the eternal life of the dead”, as Walt Whitman once said, would be springing greenly from the dead.
When the land subsumes the dead, they become the rich body of earth. As I walk the fields of my farm, beneath my feet shift the bones of incalculable unknown bodies; death is the sculptor of the ravishing landscape./ Sally Mann
Exhibition is from June 1st to September 30th, 2012