Possible Relatives: Tina Enghoff Photographs Homes of the Recently Deceased for New Exhibition

Tina Enghoff is a Danish visual artist who, in her exhibition entitled ‘Possible Relatives’, explores loneliness in society by way of death. Inspiration for this otherworldly series came from newspaper articles searching for relatives of the recently departed. Enghoff collected over a hundred of these articles over the years and displayed them with her photos in her exhibit at the Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center. These individuals who died alone in their homes with no known next of kin are remembered through Tina Enghoff’s photos of the empty apartments which they once inhabited. Although the viewer will never know who lived and died in the still-furnished rooms, though viewing the series one certainly experiences how the person was feeling at the time of their death: Alone. States of the living environments range, some sparse of material objects and tidy, others reveal signs of hoarding lingering in the background. Everyday object such as shoes, left just as they were at the time of their owner’s death, can be seen in the homes of the unknown deceased. More eerily, in many photos there is a dark residue on the furniture or floor. This is known as “body stain” and is left behind on surfaces where a body has been decomposing. Sadly, it is a tell-tale sign that the body of the deceased had remained in the location of death for quite some time before being discovered and removed.
The artist explains her series as:

“A documentation of a part of human life that few are seldom witness to – death in the shape of traces left by people who have passed away alone. Possible Relatives is a project about rejection, loneliness and invisibility –about the poverty of social contact in our otherwise economically developed welfare system.

“ We who only see the empty rooms, know nothing about the people who have left them. But we can surmise that most of those who have departed from earthly life in these apartments without calling for help, have given up all hope to be liked and have abandoned all role play long ago.””

View the entire series ‘Possible Relatives’ here
Learn more about Tina Enghoff’s work on her website: http://www.tinaenghoff.com/
To learn more about the Nikolaj, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center visit: www.kunsthallennikolaj.dk

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