“The objects that have been gathered in Saved are glimpses of life, not only of mourning; of intimacy, not only isolation.” – Cora Fisher
For over a decade, artist Jody Servon has documented objects people save when those they love die, and writer Lorene Delany-Ullman has written accompanying prose poems based on interviews and details the objects’ owners shared. The resulting body of work gathered in this book, Saved, is a visual and poetic narrative of how grief manifests and how material possessions help harbor memories.
The color images of objects such as a hairbrush, a lighter, a star ornament, and a pocketbook, are presented on one side of each page spread, and details of the object’s significance are on the facing page in prose poem form. This diptych quality reinforces the relationship between the words and the images, and provides an intimate glimpse into a fragment of someone’s personality and life. The words and photographs, like grief, are stories within stories, at once personal as well as universal.
Curator and writer Cora Fisher contributed an essay for the book and she also comments on the relationship between the images and writing, “The combination of photographs and prose creates a candor around mortality, one which has helped contributors process the juggernaut of grief after a loved one dies and, when the loss is not so immediate, has provided for a collective rumination on mortality. Taken together, the images and texts are a menagerie of life held within loss.”
The book authors designed questions to ask each participant in this project that included their relationship to the deceased, and what made the object special. While the history and meanings behind each item are unique to each owner, the sharing of such personal details helps provide a platform for a collective experience. Loss is part of life, and western culture historically approaches grief as an isolated process. This book reminds the viewer that the sharing of memories is an integral and universal part of the human experience.
Saved: Objects of the Dead
A Collaborative Book of Photography and Prose by Jody Servon and Lorene Delany-Ullman
Essay by Cora Fisher
Published by Artsuite
136 pages, 48 plates
11 x 9 3/4 in. (27.94 x 24.76 cm.)
Debossed and foil stamped hard cover on navy blue cloth
Printed and bound by Ofset Yapimevi in Turkey
Designed by Studio Elana Schlenker
First Edition: 750 copies
Release date: January 24, 2023
*Pre-ordered copies will ship at the end of January