Deadness is derived from Baseman's creative non-fiction and interview based practice, exploring the historical, cultural and sociological relationship between photographic portraiture and embalming, as discussed by Dr. John Troyer, sociologist and the Deputy Director for the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath. John grew up around funeral homes prior to his academic engagement with the subject of embalming. From a young age he witnessed, first-hand, embalming processes and practices because of his father's work as a Funeral Director. Deadness will present John's professional and personal connection with embalming combined with orphaned images collected through online auctions: casual snap shots and more formal portraits of individuals in their coffins - from the early Victorian era to the present day.
Deadness is an experimental portrait about contemporary embalming, reconstruction processes, the preparation for burial (on Land and Sea) and cremation: offering a fascinating insight into an often hidden art. Deadness has been funded by Matt's Gallery, Wellcome Trust and University of the Arts London.