When you walk into someone else’s house for the first time it’s an odd experience. You notice how they do things differently (shoes off straightaway, no dishes left on the drying rack), and there’s an unnerving feeling that you’re intruding despite being invited in. This is the feeling I get from Sarah Girner’s The Transience of Things, a series of photographs that delves into the suburbs of Westchester County, New York glimpsing behind the closed curtains through the estate sale – the last time before the home becomes just a house again.
It’s a sad thought to realise that most estate sales occur after a time where lives fracture like divorce or death and there is the sense that something has ended in these photographs. There’s a beautifully quiet observance to Sarah’s work where everything remains untouched and preserved aside from the white stickers and tags with prices scribbled on them.
We’re voyeurs in these houses and undisturbed and private for years with a distinctly American feel to them. Each property is a time warp full of character with dated furniture covered in florals and cushions, and glow in the dark stars and lamps covering each surface. You can’t help but wonder about the people who no longer live here.
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