Susan Aasman, David Campany, Colin van Heezik, Amsterdam, 2017.
Hardcover, 288 pp., 50 color illustrations, 150 b/w illustrations, 24 x 30 cm.
Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) once described himself as a hunter. A photographer who seduced and challenged his prey, and struck at just the right moment. But he was more than that. He was also a man who would have liked to have transplanted a camera into his head to permanently record the world around him; a photographer who staged and directed his images of “real life” using technique and composition.
The catalogue presents a superb overview of Ed van der Elsken’s photographs, films and books. Each of the essays considers a different aspect of his work. Hripsimé Visser explores how he worked, revealing his obsession with technique and composition. David Campany shows how van der Elsken’s photographs, books and films cross boundaries between genres and media. Susan Aasman investigates his experimental television documentaries, and Colin van Heezik analyses our fascination with van der Elsken’s photographs in the age of the selfie. Van der Elsken’s work also inspires today’s artists. Nan Goldin, Valerie Jouve and Paulien Oltheten each present a tribute to his work.