Softcover, edition of 500 copies, design by Sybren Kuiper -SYB-
"In my new photo book I combine three themes which, to my mind, came together in the early stage of the Corona crisis in 2020: death, sex and religion. Freud tangled together Eros and Thanatos: sex (or: life force) and death. I added a third transcendental dimension: religion.
Beginning in mid-March 2020, just after the Prime Minister of the Netherlands had announced the lockdown and the ‘new normal’ of the 1.5 meter social distance rule, I started visiting cemeteries and strolling for hours through the Red Light District (De Wallen) in Amsterdam, with my analog Rolleiflex in hand. The usually overcrowded area felt dystopian and deserted. Touching one another was not allowed, sex was on hold and churches closed down. I sensed the fear of death everywhere, as if life itself had been expelled.
The photographs taken at cemetries, churches and the Red Light District, combined with the portraits I’ve been taking of family and friends with their eyes closed while contemplating their mortality - the Memento Mori portraits - form the content of my new photo book Falling Man.
When the Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns brought public life to a standstill, I, Claire Felicie, photographer in Amsterdam, started asking myself how we in our culture deal with our mortality. With my analogue Rolleiflex in hand, I explored Amsterdam, its cemeteries, the St. Nicolaas basilica, as well as the Red Light District, usually crowded and full of sex workers, but now left empty and deserted. The churches were closed and it was forbidden to touch one another.
EROS and THANATOS
I started to think about how we as a culture deal with the primitive drives of sex and death (Freud: E r o s and T h a n a t o s) I asked myself some questions: Is the fear of death such that we no longer dare to live? Is it because we have, to a great extent, left the concept of the hereafter behind us, that we do all we can to avoid death, whereas it is the only one certainty that we have in life? Is it because we deny death, that we concentrate more on survival than we do on living?
The result: my photo book Falling Man, in an outstanding design by Sybren Kuiper, combines the diptychs of photos of the deserted Red Light district and the photos of graveyards and churches, with the portraits of people who are thinking about their mortality (the Memento Mori series) The book invites you to take time for silence and contemplation even without a pandemic and lockdowns. The idea is that the reconciliation with one's own mortality is liberating, as well as reducing the fear of death." (Claire Felicie)
Order at https://clairefelicie.com/books/
Publisher: Self published
Size: 24 x 28 cm (approx.)