The Distances Between Us

Published by Trema Förlag

The Distances Between Us by Sarah Pollman

200 x 280 mm
Hard cover
56 pages 
26 illustrations
Text: English
First edition: 400 copies
Publication year: 2016
ISBN 978-91-88539-02-1

Available for purchase here.

The Distances Between Us is a visual investigation of cemetery markers used to describe the anonymous deceased.

 Borrowing its structure from Barthes's Camera Lucida, the first half of the book contains photographs of elaborately carved stones labeled father and mother. These markers glow in the theatrical light of the golden hour; love for the lost is evident in the careful treatment of each stone and the language that they bear. This familial intimacy disappears in the latter half of the book, which culls black and white photographs of numbered markers made of concrete and steel. In these photographs, shot in hidden cemeteries that serve state-run hospitals, jails and schools, relationships are erased to reveal bureaucratic motives to erase individual identity and sanitize responsibility.

A text-picture in the center of the book functions as the artist’s winter garden photograph, binding these two sets of photographs together. Collectively, the images explore photography’s inherent relationship to memory and loss, recalling nineteenth century post-mortem photographs, eulogic portraits of loved ones displayed on mantels, and the desperation we feel to immortalize the lost.

Press for The Distances Between Us

"The two series are enclosed with a double blank page, a space of recollection like the silence that seizes us when we approach a grave, a mix of embarrassment and pain...."

-Christer Ek, Who Needs Another Photo Blog

"The Distances Between Us is a love letter to those lost, both known and forgotten. A ghostly chill down your spine makes you see the markings on the side of the road not as they once were in your head, bring up memories of loss from your past and creating new ones from your location. Pollman has changed the perspective of the unknown to the unfamiliar, showing the cherished jointed graves of loved ones and the time that was spent to bury those that some may brush off as not important any longer. The Distances Between Us is a commemoration of any loss suffered in silence, out loud, or never connected at both ends."

-Madison Rich, OURS Photo Magazine

Exhibitions and Events:

Month of Photography Los Angeles / Lucie Foundation, Photobook Show, April 2018

Griffin Museum of Photography,
Photobook Showcase, March 2017

Photographic Resource Center, PRC Nights, June 2017


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