Life before death (2008) is a series of powerful portraits taken by German photographer Walter Schels of people before and after they had died. His partner Beate Lakotta conducted interviews with the subjects in their final days.
“I wonder if it’s possible to have a second chance at life? I don’t think so. I’m not afraid of death — I’ll just be one of the million, billion grains of sand in the desert…” – Klara Behrens, 83
“No one asks me how I feel, because they’re all shit scared. I find it really upsetting the way they desperately avoid the subject, talking about all sorts of other things. Don’t they get it? I’m going to die! That’s all I think about, every second when I’m on my own.” – Heiner Schmitz, 52
“Death is a test of one’s maturity. Everyone has got to get through it on their own. I want very much to die. I want to become part of that vast extraordinary light. But dying is hard work. Death is in control of the process, I cannot influence its course. All I can do is wait. I was given my life, I had to live it, and now I am giving it back.” – Edelgard Clavey, 67
“My whole life was nothing but work, work, work, does it really have to happen now? Can’t death wait?”
– Gerda Strech, 68
Via The Guardian
To develop a unique identity for the Sound House Noise, Noise International first explored what noise looks like…
Measuring the Universe from Royal Observatory Greenwich on Vimeo.
Acclaimed evolutionary psychologist Paul Bloom reveals how certain universal aspects of the human mind explain our curious desires, tastes and pleasures.
“We’re all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”
― Charles Bukowski
What are the odds that you exist, as you, today? Author Ali Binazir attempts to quantify the probability that you came about and exist as you today and reveals that the odds of you existing are almost zero.
In everyday life I’m not excessively drawn to animals. That is to say, I do adore my two cats like most pet owners would and am very conscious of animal welfare (although I do eat meat even when, like most consumers, I’m not quite sure whether the animal has lived a good life and died painlessly), but if you were to ask me about my main interests in life, animals would not be among them.
Surprisingly, my subconscious doesn’t seem to agree. I have always had, and still have, animals appear in almost every dream. Rationally, I can explain this by assuming they serve as a metaphor, either one concocted by my mind (pigs flying into a bedroom wall after a rape) or related to an existing one (a frog being halved by a clothes hanger, rather than being kissed by a princess or snakes growing out of my hands after touching an apple).
However, that is not all. Apparently, I am absolutely, overwhelmingly fascinated by (certain) dead animals and (certain) dead animal art. One has to, for instance, literally drag me away from the dead, plucked – yet still with head and feet – chickens on display at Asian markets. Equally, I can stare for hours on end at Cattelan’s horse (“untitled”) hanging from a wall, its head disappearing into it. Or at Hirst’s “This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home”, consisting of a pig sliced in half in two vitrines, one of which slowly slides backward and forward.
Fortunately, having worked as a full-time artist for almost a year now, I have come to more and more accept the unexplainable. So whether it’s to do with the consolation of seemingly controlling death, the aesthetics of the unattractive concept of death or whether it simply constitutes a rather morbid fascination, is now of less importance than finding my direction in art.
Some of my favourites:
“Untitled”, Maurizio Cattelan, 2007
“The last enemy” (detail), Polly Morgan, 2006
“This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed at Home”, Damien Hirst, 1996
“Lenore”, Julia deVille, 2010