“Undergoing chemo therapy can be equated with a boxer being knocked out over and over again. Lying on the floor, dizzy and tired, he needs to get back on his feet, find focus and get ready for next round. For each round he loses more and more energy.”
At the age of 26 Emilie Dalum was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, which reshaped her worldview and ultimately led to a photography series entitled Emilie, a photographic self portrait of her five months undergoing chemotherapy.
“I documented the confrontations and alienation by intuitively photographing myself mainly using the self-timer function. It became a very intimate engagement between me, my illness and my camera. As I pointed the camera towards myself I could examine my personal transformation in the process of my illness. Being a photographer I felt it was my call to capture my inner and outer journey for recovering. I never neglected or suppressed the fact that I was ill. That was a true fact so why not show it? ”
Being more occupied with her subject than the camera, Emilie’s photos often have a crooked and abrupt composition. Her photographic style mirrors the exceptional oddness and dynamics in her focus. Emilie is constantly exploring herself through a symbiosis of magic, flaws, fears and love. Together these components shape her understanding of life as a whole, which she feels is only possible through the power of human relationships. Accordingly, the interaction with people is the essential element of her photography.
‘My work is highly intuitive. I get up close and I get involved, lose myself in my subjects and forget that I’m the photographer. This creates an emotional bond, opening a sense of vulnerability and intimacy that my photos capture.
Emilie Dalum is a Danish-born photographer, artist and art curator living in Reykjavík. In addition to her photography, Emilie curates an annual exhibit entitled ‘The Factory’ in the remote Westfjords of Iceland. Currently she works on a photo book project – Michael. www.emiliedalum.com