© Daniel Shumann, Hildegard Köhler, 7th August 2006, from the series Purple Brown Grey White Black / Living While Dying
© Daniel Shumann, Ulrike H. , 19th December 2006, from the series Purple Brown Grey White Black / Living While Dying
© Daniel Shumann, Horst Kloeters,30th August 2006, from the series Purple Brown Grey White Black / Living While Dying
“Today, many people have no concrete concept of death and what it means for them. It has become a taboo topic. In curative medicine, for example, death is treated like an anomaly, its ultimate inevitability ignored. At the same time, our life expectancy is increasing steadily, and old age is experienced more and more as a period of frailty, illness and loneliness. As a result, most people die in hospitals, on the sidelines of society.
To me, it seems urgently necessary for people to face the issue of dying and death and develop an acceptance of the transitory nature of life. Because only those with a personal, real-life image of death are equipped to deal with the final phase of life with a minimum of fear – some may even be able to free themselves from fear entirely – and say goodbye in peace.
My work seeks to make death visible, with all the pain and suffering that fatal illnesses entail, but also with the certainty that a final farewell in dignity is possible. I want to show death as something common and tangibly ubiquitous in the real world.
My project shows people living in a hospice over a period of one year. People come, people go. Some stay longer, others shorter. The course never follows a straight line. The seasons change, the light changes, the colours change. The people live their lives, become weaker, die. Some of them get to know and like others in the hospice. For the individual, the story of life always ends with death. For others, for family members, for people outside this experience, life goes on.
People die. People are born.”
To see more of Daniel’s work click here