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【转载】摄影集《生命的肖像》  

2015-01-08 02:05:23|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |

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昨天,我贴出了一组照片,是一个德国摄影师拍摄的尸体肖像

在发文之前,我就知道这个话题很阴郁,这些照片本身也有点阴森(尽管它后来被选为德国年度最佳肖像作品),有的朋友可能不想看到。但是我还是想贴,而且今天还想接着谈谈我的感受。

我一直感到,我们这个社会不愿意谈论死亡。当然,不是真的不谈,而是将死亡说成好像是其他人的事情,完全用一种与己无关的口气在那里说。一个明显的例证是,当死亡发生,人们总是安慰家属节哀,但是好像没有人意识到,这个时候最悲痛的那个人正是死者本人!我们为什么不去关心死者怎么想呢,为什么不去思考怎样安慰那些将死、甚至已死的人们呢?

法国哲学家萨特在回忆录《词语》中说,在28岁之前,他从来没意识到有一天自己会死。但是,等他意识到以后,他觉得生命从此就不一样了,他看世界的方式完全变了。苹果公司的总裁乔布斯说:"生命很短,几十年,然后你就死了,你明白吗?"是啊,你明白吗,如果我们没有做好死亡的准备,那么其实我们也没有做好活着的准备。

因此,我觉得多关心他人的死亡事件,就是在关心自己怎样更好的活。

德国摄影师的这组照片,今年4月9日到5月18日,在伦敦wellcome美术馆展出。英国《卫报》为此发表了一篇特别报道,我觉得写得非常好,写出了临终者的真实状况和生者对此的反思。我把它翻译了出来,推荐大家阅读。

=============

This is the end

这就是终点

German photographer Walter Schels was terrified of death, but felt compelled to take these extraordinary series of portraits of people before and on the day they died. His partner Beate Lakotta recorded the poignant and revealing interviews with the subjects in their final days. The couple tell Joanna Moorhead how facing death changed how they felt about dying - and living

[导语] 德国摄影师Walter Schels是一个怕死的人,但是他却完成了一个非凡的项目----在人们去世的那一天,为尸体拍肖像。他的搭档Beate Lakotta负责文字记录和访谈,采访那些垂死的人们。这两位作者接受了本报记者Joanna Moorhead的专访,讲述与死亡的零距离接触,如何改变了他们对死者、甚至对生者的看法。


作者:Joanna Moorhead

译者:阮一峰

出处:英国《卫报》(The Guardian)

时间:2008年4月1日

Nothing, it is said, teaches us more about living than dying. But if so, isn't it odd how little we face up to death? And isn't it odd that modern societies, which appear so keen to find meaning in the business of living, push death to the periphery, minimising our contact with it and sanitising its impact?

据说"未知死,焉知生",但是如果真是这样,那么我们对死亡的了解如此之少,难道不奇怪吗?现代社会似乎只关心怎么活得舒适,忙于将死亡掩盖起来,将死者对生者的影响最小化,对死亡进行"消毒",不让它影响社会的运作,这难道不奇怪吗?

The German photographer Walter Schels thinks it not only odd, but wrong that death is so hidden from view. Aged 72, he's also keenly aware that his own death is getting closer. Which is why, a few years ago, he embarked on a bizarre project. He decided to shoot a series of portraits of people both before and after they had died. The result is a collection of photographs of 24 people - ranging from a baby of 17 months to a man of 83 - that goes on show in London next week. Alongside the portraits are the stories of the individuals concerned, penned by Beate Lakotta, Schels' partner, who spent time with the subjects in their final days and who listened as they told her how it felt to be nearing the end of their lives.

德国摄影师Walter Schels觉得,这不仅仅是奇怪的问题,而且完全错了。我们不应该把死亡藏起来。他已经72岁了,很清楚地意识到离自己的死亡越来越近了。因此几年前,他设计了一个奇特的项目。他决定拍摄一系列的肖像照片,一张是生前,另一张是死后。这个项目最终拍摄了24个人,既有17个月的娃娃,也有83岁的老人。这些照片下个星期就将在伦敦展出。除了照片以外,每个拍摄对象都有一篇特写,作者是Schels的搭档Beate Lakotta。在那些人们生命最后的日子里,她陪着他们,倾听他们的心声,记录他们对死亡到来的想法。

Schels and Lakotta work out of a spacious, top-floor flat in Hamburg: the tables, and even the floor, are littered with images from both this series and from the thousands of other shoots Schels has done during a long career taking portraits for some of the world's leading glossy magazines. But all his life, says Schels, he has had a crippling fear of death, and of dead bodies. "I was brought up in Munich during the war, and one day our house was bombed. I saw many bodies - limbs torn off, heads torn off, terrible things - and I have never forgotten them. Since that day, I was always afraid of dead bodies. Even when my mother died - she was 89 years old, and I'd taken her photograph earlier that very day - I didn't want to see her after death."

Schels和Lakotta的工作室在汉堡,是一间很宽敞的顶楼公寓。那里的桌子上和地上,堆满了各种各样的照片,一共有几千张,都是Schels在漫长职业生涯中完成的作品。他为许多世界一流杂志拍摄过照片。但是,他本人说,在他的一生中,他一直极其害怕死亡和尸体。"我是二战期间在慕尼黑长大的。有一天,我们的房子被炸弹击中了。我看到了许多尸体----有的没了四肢,有的没了头,真是太可怕了。我永远都忘不了他们。从那天起,我对尸体就有一种永恒的恐惧。甚至当我妈妈死后,我也没去看她的遗体。我妈妈过世时已经89岁了,我在那天之前已经给她拍过照片了。"

So it took every ounce of his courage to embark on a project that was going to force him into such close contact with the dead. "I was filled with terror. Sometimes when I was taking pictures of a body I would be loading my camera and I'd keep looking at their face out of the corner of my eye, making sure they really were dead. Once I had a dream in which one of the subjects woke up during the shoot, and said, 'What are you doing?' And I knew she was dead but I didn't want to tell her, and in my dream I was thinking, 'Oh no, how am I going to tell her she's dead?'"

因此,为了完成这个项目,同尸体做最直接的接触,他用尽了自己所有的勇气。"我怕极了。有时当我在为尸体拍照时,我一边在装胶卷,一边用眼角的余光看着他们的脸。我不确定他们是否真的死了。有一天,我做了一个梦,梦见拍到一半的时候,拍摄对象活过来,说:'你在干嘛?'。我知道她死了,但是我不忍心告诉她。在梦里,我就一直想着这个问题,'哦,不要啊,我该怎么跟她说,她已经死了呢?'"

Logistically, the project was fraught with difficulties. Finding people who were dying was relatively easy - the couple tracked them down through hospices in Hamburg and Berlin. Perhaps surprisingly, most of the people they approached were willing to be included, though a few said no. But a bigger problem, for Schels and Lakotta, was being continuously on standby to go to take pictures. "You'd get a call at 3am and it would be the hospice to say that someone had died, and we'd have to get up straight away and get over there so we could fit in a photo shoot between the relatives arriving and the undertaker coming," explains Lakotta, 42. "It was relentless, and very draining emotionally." Schels agrees: "We'd come back here in the evening, after a day when we'd maybe been to a funeral and shot pictures of a dead body, and we'd sit here crying and drinking whisky and wine." Both agree they couldn't possibly have completed the project alone. "There were times when it seemed such a strange, unbelievable thing to be doing," says Lakotta. "We could only talk to one another about it."

可以想象,这个项目做起来很困难。不过,找到临终的人们还不算太难,Schels和Lakotta查看了汉堡和柏林的临终医院的记录。也许这很让人吃惊,大多数死者临死前都愿意参加拍摄,只有一些人拒绝了。真正的困难在于,他们必须随时等候着,一旦死亡发生,他们必须立刻去拍照。"凌晨三点,电话响了。医院告诉你,某个人死了,我们就必须立刻赶到那里去,在医院完成拍摄。你必须赶在亲属和殡仪馆的人都到来之前。"42岁的Lakotta解释说。"这很冷酷,你必须不带感情地进行工作。"Schels表示同意,"傍晚的时候,我们回到医院拍摄又一个死者,而前一天我们还在参加另一个死者的葬礼,拍摄另一具尸体的照片。我们会想坐在这里痛哭,但也会在这里喝点酒。"他们两个都同意,如果单独一人,不可能完成这个项目。"总有些时候,这个项目看上去很奇怪,无法想象我们在做这样一件事情,"Lakotta说。"我们只能依靠互相鼓励,坚持做下去。"

Photographing the bodies was a challenge. "The first shoot was terrifying: we were so afraid that we just crept in and photographed the body in profile, lying on the bed, without moving it at all," says Schels. "But when we compared the before-and-after pictures, we realised it didn't work - we hadn't captured the face in a way that mirrored it in its before-death state." Over the next few weeks the pair experimented to overcome the problems of rigor mortis and the effects of gravity on a dead face, until they came up with an answer. "We realised we had to sit the subject up, as they had been in the before-death shot," says Lakotta. She went, she says, from being someone who could hardly bear to touch a dead body to someone who thought nothing of moving a body around and coaxing it into a sitting pose to get a good face-on shot. "But one thing you never get used to is the feel of a dead person - it's always shocking," she says. "It's like cement - that cold, that hard, and that heavy."

为尸体拍肖像照是一种挑战。"第一次拍的时候,真是可怕。我们都很害怕,悄悄进入房间,从侧面为尸体拍照。整个过程中,尸体就放在床上,我们压根没有碰他。"Schels说。"但是等到我们将照片,与死者生前的留影对比时,我们意识到这根本行不通。我们拍摄死者脸部的方式,必须同生前拍摄的方式类似。"接下来的几个星期,这一对作者做了很多尝试,克服死者表情僵硬和肌肉下垂的难题。"我们意识到,必须将尸体竖起来,就像活人拍肖像照一样。"Lakotta说。她刚开始时根本不敢碰尸体,到后来她可以毫不在意地将尸体移来移去,让其摆出一个更好的坐姿。她说,"只有一件事,你永远不会感到习惯。尸体就像水泥----那样冷,那样硬,那样沉。这永远让人感到震惊。"

But, horrifying though photographing the bodies was, more shocking still for Schels and Lakotta was the sense of loneliness and isolation they discovered in their subjects during the before-death shoots. "Of course we got to know these people because we visited them in the hospices and we talked about our project, and they talked to us about their lives and about how they felt about dying," explains Lakotta. "And what we realised was how alone they almost always were. They had friends and relatives, but those friends and relatives were increasingly distant from them because they were refusing to engage with the reality of the situation. So they'd come in and visit, but they'd talk about how their loved one would soon be feeling better, or how they'd be home soon, or how they'd be back at work in no time. And the dying people were saying to us that this made them feel not only isolated, but also hurt. They felt they were unconnected to the people they most wanted to feel close to, because these people refused to acknowledge the fact that they were dying, and that the end was near."

虽然拍摄尸体是一件恐怖的事,但是Schels and Lakotta感到更震惊的是,当他们接触拍摄对象时,那种临死的人们的孤独和疏离感。"我们当然了解那些拍摄对象,因为我们在医院里访问他们,同他们交谈。他们告诉我们他们的生活,以及他们对马上到来的死亡的感受。"Lakotta解释说。"我们意识到,在整个过程中,他们一直感到非常孤独。他们有朋友和亲属,但是这些人和他们正在变得越来越疏远。因为这些人拒绝谈论现实。他们来探望临死的人们,却说希望他的身体越来越好,或者说希望他能够早日回家,或者早日重新回到工作岗位。死者告诉我们,这些话不仅让他们感到更孤独,而且伤害了他们。他们感到,他们被切断了与这些人的联系,而此时在内心中,他们却是最需要亲友的关心。这一切都是因为,人们拒绝向病人承认,他快要死了,终点就在眼前这个事实。"

Some of the subjects, says Schels, were bitter about how lonely the business of dying had made them feel - for some, this was why they agreed to take part in the project. "Some of the dying said, 'It's so good you're doing this - it's really important to show what it's like. No one else is listening to me, no one wants to hear or know what it's really like.'"

Schels说,有些临终者被那种濒死的孤独感折磨,因此同意参加拍摄计划。"一些死者说,'你们能做这件事,真是太好了。把这里的情况展示出去,真的很重要。没有其他人听我说话,也没有人想真正倾听或了解真实的一面。'"

Both Schels and Lakotta feel the experience of being close to so many dying people has changed how they feel not only about dying themselves, but how they feel about living - and also, how they would support a friend or relative through terminal illness. "I know now how important it is to be there, or at least to offer to be there, as much as possible - and to not be afraid of asking questions, and of listening to the answers," says Lakotta. Schels, meanwhile, says that while death never loses its ability to shock, it has - for them - lost its ability to frighten. He is no longer terrified of dead bodies, and nor is he frightened of the future. He remains, as he has long been, an agnostic, having noticed that believers and non-believers alike showed the same fear of the unknown that awaited them.

Schels和Lakotta都感到,同那么多临终的人们接触,不仅改变了他们对死亡的看法,也改变了他们对活着的看法,以及他们以后将如何对待临终的亲友。"我现在知道了,陪伴着临终者是多么重要,至少是尽可能多的在场,不要害怕提问,然后倾听回答。"Lakotta这样说。与此同时,Schels说,虽然死亡永远会让人感到震惊,但是对他们来说,死亡已不再那么可怕了。他不再会被尸体吓着了,他对自己的生命终结也不再恐惧。和以前一样,他依然是一个不可知论者,因为他发现信徒和非信徒在即将到来的未知死亡面前,都展示出相同的恐惧。

Most importantly, the couple feel they know the importance of making the time they have left count. And though we are discussing a most sombre subject, there is much laughter: both Schels and Lakotta have a wonderful ability to find pathos and humour in many of their experiences. There was the man who refused to die (he was eventually told by the hospice that he would have to move back home; but when he called his girlfriend, she told him she had given all his possessions away ... he finally died a few days after realising that he was on a one-way street, and there really was no going back). Another patient, a woman, had been disappointed by almost everything, all her life. "She proudly told me that her funeral would be packed, with at least 85 people there," says Lakotta. "But I went to it, and there were only about 30 of us ... and I thought, this was inevitable, really."

最重要的是,Schels和Lakotta感到,他们明白了过好余生的重要性。虽然我们正在谈论的,是一个最阴郁的主题,但是也有不少令人感慨的事情:Schels和Lakotta两人对生活中感伤和幽默的瞬间,都有非凡的捕捉力。有个男人一直没死,临终医院最后都说他可以回家去了,但是他给女友打了一个电话,女友却说已经将他的私人物品都清理走了......等到他意识到,他走在一条单行道上,无路可回时,几天后他就死了。另一位女病人对生活中的每件事,都感到失望,其中也包括她的人生。"她告诉我,她的葬礼会有很多人参加,至少有85个人。" Lakotta说。"但是我去了她的葬礼,大概只到了30个人......我觉得这是不可避免的,真的如此。"

"What I was used to," says Schels, who has taken hundreds of portraits during his career, "was people who smiled for the camera. It's usually an automatic response. But these people never smiled. They were incredibly serious; and more than that, they weren't pretending anything any more. People are almost always pretending something, but these people had lost that need. I felt it enabled me as a photographer to get as close as it's possible to get to the core of a person; when you're facing the end, everything that's not real is stripped away. You're the most real you'll ever be, more real than you've ever been before".

Schels在职业生涯中,单单肖像作品就拍过几百幅。他说:"以前,我习惯于人们对着镜头微笑。这是一个很自然的举动。但是那些临死的人们从来没有对着镜头笑过,他们严肃地难以置信。而且,他们不再愿意伪装了。活着的人或多或少都有所伪装,但是临死的人没有必要这样做了。我感到,作为一个摄影师,这给我一个机会,让我尽可能靠近一个人的内心。当你快死了,所有不真实的东西都被剥离了。你成了那个最真实的你,比以前任何时候都更真实。"

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