Some photos about the fear of los


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My project accompanies patients of the Alzheimer’s disease and their family members. It claims to allegorize their interior feelings and their emotional world rather than their visual obvious state of mind. The series does not want to replicate well known stereotypes of the disease in a late stage, but to characterize the – emotionally much more poignant – beginnings of this illness. In this stage the patient is most of the time fully aware and just sometimes, for short moments he slips swiftly away into the state of unconsciousness. A condition that soon will take over and enclose him completely, that will trap and disconnect him from the world. By then he will not recognize his beloved ones, he will forget his own personality, reality will shift and will be isolated in a truth that none can share. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease the patient realizes what is happening. He realizes his own growing obliviousness. He is realizing how the moments of disorientation become longer and with a clear mind he views his impending tumble into the unconscious. It is this complex world of fears and feelings that my pictures want to describe. The inescapability, the hopelessness, the cognition of their own failure and their unnegotiable acceptance. But there is also thankfulness to have the time to say good bye and the hope to still share some hidden moments of complicity. This cheerless-melancholic time of farewell is what my pictures describe. As it is not possible to take pictures of feelings I had to stage visual parallels. Each staging is the result of long and intensive talks that made me understand the fears and feelings of the patients and their social context. I wanted to create these complex emotional worlds in simple staged poetic photos, that communicated their immutable hopelessness. So a door leaning on a wall might indicate the idea of searching for an escape where there is none; a chair with just three legs might stand for his own shakiness a patient is confronting. The combination of these still lifes with the portraits of actual patients became a mandatory requirement, as this is the connecting element between the brutal reality of these faulty worlds and these living humans. An image of the illness is meant be presented that goes far beyond the display of simple “cases” and should enable the viewer to understand the whole value of this fearful disease. My photos show more than the physical appearance of Alzheimer’s but also its mental-psychological dimension. A dimension words are not suited to describe. The series is printed on semi transparent “sandwich paper”, as this material communicates the idea of fading information also on a physical layer.


Country : Pays-Bas

Number of photos : 9