About the Book
Hello Dear Reader,
My name is Joseph Rubinstein and I am the artist responsible for these photographs. My intention with these works was to communicate in a visual language most of us are familiar and comfortable with about a subject that we as a culture often avoid. Death in our culture has morphed from a sacred or at least natural part of life to become the most sensationalized part of our everyday story telling. Crime Dramas like "CSI" focus so much on the prevention of the "Next Victim" that they forget to slow down and understand the initial exchange that is driving the story. The original victim's body is fragmented and turned into factors in an equation. The human cost is largely ignored, and because of it we, the audience, develop a build up of these deaths that we know so much about, but have never really stopped to look at. I am offering a chance to stand and stare at a fictionalized death. The images I create are beautifications, idealizations, creative interpretations of death the same way CSI is an idealization of the criminologists. By creating the fantasy of it, I am giving the viewer emotional license to look at the body and try to see themselves in it. In photos of real death we feel too perverse, too indignant to explore them. It becomes very difficult to integrate those photos into the collection of stories in our minds. My goal is to create images that help us understand these stories, and maybe their relationship to ourselves.
I hope that this series disgusts, excites, engages, and disturbs us all just a little bit.