2014 - 2020
With this work, dedicated to my brother Hans, I break the silence and a taboo comes to an end. Hans (38) died in 2005 in a hotel room in Berlin after using drugs. We told the outside world that he died of cardiac arrest. His death is a fact, the way he died a taboo. Hans struggled with several addictions in his life. Fifteen years later, after my search for answers, I decided to share the truth.
The work illustrates my inner world during my quest. Metaphorical images about fear, loss, confrontation, helplessness, but also about love and courage to pull back the curtains. I visited Berlin and the hotel room where Hans' life ended and I studied our family albums with our photographs. The project (and book by Schilt Publishing) is a turning point and the beginning of a new page in life, without secrets.
In addition to making and collecting photo material, I visited people who recovered from addiction. They shared their life stories and tried to answer my questions. Questions I never asked Hans. Why did he get addicted yet I didn't? How do you get addicted? How does it feel? And could I have made a difference? These people, like me, care about opening up. They are all featured in my video installation (not included). I discovered that we are not that different. We have the same fears and the same desires in life. That's why it's so important to share the truth. There are still too many prejudices around addiction. It's important to depict the human side behind it. This work is not just a personal story, but it's also a call to investigate how we deal with addiction. And with 'we' I mean every one of us.