As I started my studies in Lausanne, my grandmother was in the last phase of her life. I was at the time doing a project about her and her job as a botanist.
I was 17, away from home and it was the first time I confronted a relative’s death.
It kept coming back to me in my sleep for several weeks. I needed to get over it.
Coincidently a friend of mine had to go to a funeral center, I came along and wandered around until I reached the last room on the bottom floor. It was the crematorium.
I spent days watching bodies burn through a tiny surveillance hole. It was a way to confront death in a place where it was random.
A human body is burnt at 1044°C, with it’s coffin for about three hours. The first hour is just flames, then the body appears but it is almost already a skeleton. After three hours the oven is opened, a man comes and hits the remains with a large and heavy stick so that only dust is left and falls one floor under through a tube into an urn.
I then pushed this project to another extent during a semester project with RVB Books. The moving images becames still screenshots and to ink the pages with shades of grey and black I experimented with a typography press machine.
I developed a book concept where I experimented an analog printing technique which inks the pages with a sort of pressure I decided of, it was a way to experiment in a more hand craft way the process and bring another form and layer to the story. The ink slowly vanishes throughout the book creating patterns that match the concept as well as the aesthetic of the images. It starts dark fades and evolves and then ends back in dark shades.
An image from this series was published in one of the volumes of the "Eros and thanatos" book conceived by Ctake5 publishing.
Eros & Thanatos, Take 5 Editions
One of my images figures in this artist book conceived by Céline Fribourg. It's a three volume book and here is the part dedicated to death. The cover is made with coal and silicone.