ABOUT THE BOOK
When the Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns brought public life to a standstill in March 2020, Claire Felicie, photographer in Amsterdam, started asking herself how we in our – western – culture deal with our mortality. With her analogue Rolleiflex in hand, she 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.
According to Freud, Eros and Thanatos, the primitive drives of sex (or: life-force) and death, are closely connected. Is in our culture 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? Isn’t it only when we are reconciled to our mortality that we can live fully?
The result: the photo book Falling Man, combines 22 diptychs of photos of the deserted Red Light district and the photos of graveyards and churches, with 40 portraits of people who are thinking about their mortality while cherishing a subject of a loved one deceased (the Memento Mori series)