A photographic long-term project about the light and dark sides of motherhood, about a topic that is too often kept silent.
The birth of a child is also the birth of a mother. Her body carries a second beating heart. When this second heart suddenly beats outside the body, everything changes.
The illustrated book A Second Beating Heart tells the story of a woman who never leaves her home after the birth of her child. What begins insidiously becomes a new reality. For almost three years, the house is both a shelter and a cocoon. Isolation at home becomes a vital strategy. She finds her way out step by step. – The story of a healing and emancipation from the ideal image of the perfect mother.
“A Second Beating Heart” is about a surreal time in which a small being first takes shape inside its mother’s body and then suddenly outside. “The second heart has put on a body,” writes Rabea Edel in her text. Her images show the closeness between mother and child: the baby’s skin against the adult’s skin, the physical merging of two beings who were once one and now have to cope with their own bodies. But the photographs also show the separation that the main character feels from the outside world. Again and again she is separated from her surroundings by curtains, window panes or a plastic bag as if by a membrane. The light must never enter the mother-child cavity undimmed. Color appears only very sparingly in her desaturated still lifes: light green grapes in her lap on a wool-white nightgown, an orange between her fingers, the red blood on her face.
Rabea Edel (born 1982 in Bremerhaven) is a writer (“A Dark Moment”) and graduate of the Ostkreuz School of Photography in Berlin. In “A Second Beating Heart,” she finds images for “the birth of a mother,” as the accompanying text puts it. The images are carefully staged and at times reminiscent of Victorian interiors, yet they seem intimate and capture the conflicting feelings after the birth of a child; the certainty of never again being responsible only for oneself.
»Through poetic and carefully selected pictures, viewers empathize with the light and dark sides of new motherhood. Dealing with the topic of post-partum depression is often neglected in art and only more recently has been a topic in society. And with new lockdown implemented, isolation from friends, family, and normalcy takes on whole new complexities. Not every new mother is blissfully happy in their new role, can accept the changes of her body so immediately, or cope with the new lifestyle that shifts overnight.
The carefully illustrated book strips bare these fears through self portraits, still lifes, and an emotional essay.«
– fräulein magazine (1/21)
Bookstores have the option to send orders directly to the e-mail address email@example.com.