Geert Broertjes

When Geert was first diagnosed with cancer, Lotte asked if she could make a portrait photograph of him, "pure, without the presence of poisonous medicine in his body". That turned out to be the start of Project ‘K’, in which they together chose analogue photography to represent the three most common cancer treatments: chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. The duo subjected film roll, negatives and prints to the same procedures that Geert’s body was enduring. Directly after the chemo, Geert's urine was used to soak the film rolls. 4x5 Inch film was irradiated at Amsterdam’s AMC hospital. The size of the illuminated square in the middle of the film represents Geert’s tumor of that same size. Partially burned negatives have become stand-ins for surgical procedures, the violence of both illness and ‘recovery’ on the body – and eventually on the mind as well.

With this series, Geert and Lotte wanted to visualise the life you go through as a patient, and the huge contradictions between the promises of cure and the actual treatments. That what is meant to heal also breaks you down. Before everything else, Project ‘K’ is about the f***ed-up reality in which strength and vulnerability play the lead role and hope is the only constant factor to which one involuntary has to cling.

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