"A visual investigation of the landscape of Austria by making a roadtrip based on a second world war trauma.
For guiding me through Austria, I used psychiatric institutions as waypoints.
In these institutions psychiatric patients got euthanized. Aryan or not. Adults and children.
The reasoning was simple: the cost-benefit for the society was not profitable.
More than 200.000 useless people disappeared, including children.
I used those institutions as waypoints for my travel in Austria.
The result is a combination of images, manipulated stills from propaganda movies and some digital collages of found footage." (Dieter DE LATHAUWER)
"The photos in 'I loved my wife' were taken on the site of 16 Austrian psychiatric institutions. Tens of thousands of children were murdered in these institutions during the Second World War. Killed because they were considered to be incurably ill.
The costs of keeping them alive were too high for society, an opinion that was reinforced with films and other propaganda directed against people who had nothing to offer society. Euphemisms for the murders were ‘mercy death’ and ‘euthanasia’.
Provisions for the institutions and care for the victims of hereditary illnesses were seen as working against natural selection. The costs of this had to be borne by healthy workers, and money was taken from them that could otherwise have given them a better life.
The photos in this poignant book are interspersed with historic documents and stills from propaganda films. (...) 'I loved my wife' was the winner of the Unseen Dummy Award 2016." (publisher's note)
"Die Aufnahmen in 'I loved my wife' wurden in und um 16 psychiatrische Kliniken in Österreich gemacht. 'I loved my wife' war der Gewinner des Unseen Dummy Award 2016." (freie Übersetzung des Verlagstextes)