Hart Island – Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld Hart Island – Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld
Hart Island – Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld
© 1998 Melinda Hunt in collaboration with Joel Sternfeld


20. May 2000 – 10. September 2000

Hart Island

Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld

Following the stations Ulm and Manchester, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture presents the joint work "The Hart Island Project" by the two New York-based artists Melinda Hunt and Joel Sternfeld. Hart Island is an island within sight of New York City and has been used as the American metropolis' cemetery for the poor for over 125 years. Today, the funerals are performed by inmates of a neighboring detention facility, who are transported to the deserted island for their activities every morning. Hunt and Sternfeld accompanied them for two years. "We made the trip once or twice a month to capture the changing seasons. Each time, it seemed like we were crossing the river Styx."

The photographs, carefully composed by Sternfeld, show how nature threatens to swallow up the past. Only at second glance do details reveal hints of the eventful history of Hart Island.

Melinda Hunt's artistic installations frame the photographs with newspaper clippings, copies of death certificates and handwritten notes of the prisoners who have to bury the unknown dead every day.

In the exciting interplay of photography and sculptural installation which is accompanied by Melinda Hunt’s extensive research material, an in Europe often repressed critical reflection on the relationship between society and its dead is developed.


facebook youtube instagram

Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz