/18 Family

Fred Huening


DREI is the third in a trilogy of books (the first being EINER and the second ZWEI) which Fred Hüning has been working on since 2005. It completes an incredibly tender story of the profound cycles of life in a small family. In EINER the loss of a baby is heartbreaking and the oblique shots of the mother and the dead animals that appear though the book are a painful attempt to cope with grief and loss. ZWEI concentrates on Fred’s partner, the mother, as she comes to terms with her grief and her position as a mother even though she has no child. It is a gathering back of self and a chronicle of their love for one another. DREI is a triumph in happiness, bonding, togetherness and love. It shows the mother with their son (the sonogram being the last hopeful page of ZWEI). As a reader you are so happy they had another chance at having a baby and the sheer delight, joy and tenderness of the mother and child relationship is at times overwhelming when contrasted with the melancholy that infuses EINER. You can not imagine a more wanted or loved little boy, or indeed a more loved mother by both the men in her life. It also shows the power of photography to be a cathartic tool to deal with big emotional subjects and make sense of a world that can at times seem unfair, cruel and desperate. DREI is pure beauty and happiness.

Text: Susan Bright, curator and writer