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"Alive" is the last, incomplete work of my wife Daniela Swarowsky who died of breast cancer in the morning of 1 June 2019, two years ago.

For most of the time of her illness that was discovered in December 2014, Daniela lived intensively and well. For the first time in decades, she did not measure her worth in work and productivity. But she was still an artist, and in winter 2017-18, when Daniela already knew that she would not live very long, she decided to make an art work of her own sickness. It would be called “Alive”. It was meant to be a slide show of photos (and maybe videos) documenting her illness since it began in 2014. She recorded many events she wanted to hold, such as shaving her hair when it started falling after a chemo or radiation, and trying on wigs.

“Alive” remains incomplete because Daniela did not have the energy to turn the large archive she had collected into a selection. This series shows fragments of a visual essay that she would have liked us to see.

The series begins with three photos that Daniela had copied into the root folder of the image archive. It ends with three photos that she had copied into a separate folder called "Meine Krankheit-the story". She probably wanted them to play a prominent role in the series.

The images in the middle have been selected by me from Daniela's much larger, only partially selected archive.

Daniela last worked on "Alive" in February 2018, and the archive ends with November 2017. After that, she travelled to New York and Malta with me in spring 2018, we renovated our summer cabin and spent a last late summer holiday in her native Austria, until in autumn 2018 her condition worsened and she was no longer able to move without help. I have not included photos that were not part of her archive.

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See more of Daniela's work at