Addiction is still a big taboo. With this photo book and project, Vivian Keulards breaks her silence around the addiction and death of her brother Hans. Years after his death, she went in search for answers. Why did he get addicted and she didn’t, how did he feel and could she have done anything? Her brother Hans was only 38 years old when he died in a hotel room in Berlin. His sudden cardiac arrest was caused by drugs. His death is a fact, the way he died a taboo.
The book reflects her feelings, thoughts and memories during her quest. She visited Berlin, studied her family albums and talked to many people who dealt with addiction as well. The book will be accompanied with a video installation, where you meet the people who recovered from addiction and answered Vivian’s questions. You hear important quotes from their conversations. Quotes that break down the stigma around addiction.
The book comes with an essay by writer Ralf Mohren, known from his novel “Tonic”. In the past Ralf struggled with an alcohol addiction.
This project is a personal story with a universal mission: to show the human being behind addiction. To show it’s only a thin line between being addicted and not.
Vivian Keulards is a Dutch conceptual portrait photographer. She graduated in 2009 from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam. Her fascination for images and photography started earlier though. During her Communication Science studies at the KUN (University of Nijmegen, master’s degree in 1995) she mainly focused on visual culture and imaging; she also loved to print in the darkroom.
Vivian’s portrait series are often created over a longer period of time and are narrative (conceptual). Children, adolescents and vulnerable groups are recurring subjects in her photography. Her series can be documentary or based on fine-art. Therefore, her work is shown on different platforms like photo festivals, galleries, newspapers and magazines. Her portraits have been published, exhibited and rewarded internationally and are part of public and private collections.
View prints in our print shop.
Reviews & Features
The British Journal of Photography
The Royal Photographic Society Journal (March 2020)
Focus magazine (March 2020)
Sybylla J Smith Photobook Club (October, 29th, 2020)
Shortlists & Awards
SIPF 2020 Photobook Open Call
Design: Put Gootink, Amsterdam
Edit: Vivian Keulards and Ellen Sanders
Essay by Ralf Mohren
Format: 24.5 x 28.5 cm
Paperback, Japanese binding
112 pages with dozens of photos in full colour