1st Place, "Siloquies And Soliloquies On Death, Life And Other Interludes" by Edgar Martins
This series was produced at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences in Portugal and depicts forensic evidence such as suicide notes, letters and other objects used in suicides and crimes alongside pathology tools. The images represent individual suicide notes, and explore the tension between revelation and concealment, questioning amongst other things the ethical implications of representing and divulging sensitive material of this nature. The location, meanwhile, addresses the institutionalisation of the representation and analysis of death and the corpse. Introducing a photographic artist into a place defined by scientific method creates epistemological, psychological and semantic questions around what distinguishes a documental image from an image that reproduces the staged creation of a mental image and the effect of these differences on the viewer’s imagination. In doing so, the work highlights the decisive but paradoxical role that photography has played in the perception and intelligibility of both suicide and death.