The suburbs of Westchester County north of New York City are a private place where everything seems to happen behind closed doors. The Estate Sale throws these doors wide open, at a moment where the families that used to inhabit these spaces are at their most vulnerable. A rupture – a death, a divorce – usually precedes the sales.
The estate sale marks the final moment of a home and the last time the house exists in all its parts with rooms and objects intact in the way the owner intended. For two days everything stands still. The rooms exist in a suspended state of reality – a kind of time warp – in which the past, the present and the future meet.
In my photographs I set out to document this final moment of a home and the lives that were lived there. Walking through the house I become a sort of archaeologist – digging through the artifacts and remains of family life and coming to conclusions about the lives people lived there. The absence of the owners at the sales only makes their presence more felt. Each picture frame, panel of wallpaper and decorative lampshade has been selected with utmost care. The details of a life can be pieced together by means of the objects, which have been left behind.
In the homes, the impermanence of things is palpable and it is ironic that the silk plants and glittery dresses we accumulate throughout our lives not only outlast us - they come to encompass our memories as well.