Welcome to my Blog - Ruud Leeuw

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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour
Alberto Korda telling his story

Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour..

Korda's work ranges from commercial advertising to politics, from depicting celebrities to portraying the guerrilla, from the city's nightlife to military marches or popular gatherings, from the sensuality of the female nude to the scientific study of the seas around Cuba.
The exhibition comprised c.150 photographs plus documents and newpaperclippings.

Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour
'Patria of Muerte'

Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour
Exhibition in COBRA MUSEUM VOOR MODERNE KUNST, 18 mrt 2022 - 26 jun 2022

Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour

'Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour' shows a selection of his very best works; from glamour and feminine beauty to advertising photography, to powerful portraits of the leaders and soldiers of the Cuban revolution to Cuban people and undersea nature images.
The exhibition was made possible by Terra Esplêndida and The Estate of Alberto Korda, run by his daughter Diana Diaz and Cuban art critic and curator Cristina Vives.

Korda: Cuba, Che, Glamour

Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez, better known as Alberto Korda or simply Korda (b.14Sep1928 – d.25May2001), was a Cuban photographer, remembered for his famous image Guerrillero Heroico of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara.

Born in Havana, he got his first taste of photography when he took his father's Kodak 35mm and began taking pictures of his girlfriend.
Korda was the son of a railway worker, and took many jobs before beginning as a photographer's assistant. Korda began his career as a photographer who shot pictures at banquets, baptisms and weddings. He would run back to his studio to develop the film, then return to the event and sell his photographs as souvenirs.
Korda was most interested in fashion because it allowed him to pursue his two favorite things, photography and beautiful women. Korda became Cuba's premiere fashion photographer.

After the revolution, Korda became Fidel Castro's personal photographer for 10 years, accompanying Castro on trips and in meetings with foreign personalities. During this time he also took pictures of demonstrations, sugar cane harvests and factory scenes.
Other less-known Fidel Castro images by Korda include shots of Castro staring warily at a tiger in a New York zoo, playing golf and fishing with Che Guevara, skiing and hunting in Russia, and with Ernest Hemingway.

The relationship between Fidel Castro and Korda could not be defined by one label or title. For Castro, Korda was more than an official photographer, a friend or personal photographer. They never discussed salary or title, their relationship wasn't boss and worker. They were both of the same age.
The Cuban Revolution was the turning point in Korda's career; his career plans were completely changed with the success of the revolutionaries.

A Japanese exhibition in 1978 stimulated international interest in his work. He appeared briefly in the pre-title sequence of Wim Wenders' film 'Buena Vista Social Club' in 1999, although he was uncredited.
He was featured in a full feature documentary titled 'Kordavision', directed by Hector Cruz Sandoval in 2006.
In September 2016 the 'Leica' camera that Korda's used for his famous photo of Che Guevara was auctioned through the online auction house Catawiki for 18.100,- euros.

Korda suffered a fatal heart attack in Paris in 2001 while presenting an exhibition of his work. He is buried in the Colon Cemetery, Havana.
There was no catalogue accompanying this exhibition, in fact I don't think there is a photobook of his work. What a pity!

cobra-museum.nl/- - -/korda-cuba-che-glamour/



A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Photos by Juha Arvid Helminen on FFN (2017)
A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)

From FFN's 2017 information: 'His series The Invisible Empire is inspired by the police response to the anarchist demonstrations against the ASEM 2006 convention ('SMAH ASEM'). The police response - which according to various sources was unnecessarily violent - shown by Juha Arvid Helminenreveals the dark side of the Finnish police. He saw that the police officers in fact hide their uniforms. Moreover, it shows afterwards how reluctant the legal system was to punish the men in uniform for their deeds.'

The book: 'A Journey to the Invisible Empire'
A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
The Cabinet (2014)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Graduates (2014)

"The seeds of intolerance are sewn in many ways. One of the most insidious methods is to weave it into high education, teaching a distorted version of one's heritage. There is a heightened sens of "us" and "them" justified by tradition and cultural continuum. The desire to belong often begets evil deeds as well as the imperative to protect an imagined past, something that never really existed."

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Mother (2009)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Dogma (2010)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
The Camera Enthusiast (2010)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Humanity (2013)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
Endless (2022)

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
The Guardians (2018)

"We think of a man on a horse as a knight in shining armour, but how many times has man mounted a horse to hunt a runaway slave, or to secure the borders by chasing down war refugess? We dress our fears with rituals in beauty to make them look gallant."

A Journey to the Invisible Empire by Juha Arvid Helminen (2022)
The Last Empress of the Invisible Empire (2021)

In 2017 I enjoyed Helminen's photography at the Foto Festival Naarden (FFN), he was one of the many photographers with his work on display and he stood out!
I visited the bookshop for a photobook but there was none available. At the time I could find none online either. And indeed I had to wait until this year to find his work compiled in an exquisite book

The book expands over a decade of work by Juha Arvid Helminen dealing with the darker sides of humanity spanning centuries of misuse of power in a form of fine art photography.
Handpicked pieces of work in this fine art book split into three chapters; 'The Myths We Create', 'Turn Down The Silence' and 'In The Name of Tradition'.
The book also includes six page forword by the artist + new images specifically created for this publication.
A fantastic publication, a unique photographic project, very powerful!




Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg
Kaïn & Abel, observed by Martin Luther King (?), Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama & Ghandi.

Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg

Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg

Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg

Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg

Religious beliefs sculptured in Sand @Elberg

One of the world's largest covered sand sculpture exhibitions: Bible stories sculptured in sand, by artists who worked for 1200 days..
With an area of 5000 m², about 4000 m³ of sand, dozens of lock gates, 1000 years old olive trees, botters and sculptures, the stories about the culture of Bibles, beliefs and botters come about.
The tower of Babel, Jonah and the whale, Adam and Eve in paradise, Moses on the mountain, the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, the well of Joseph are only a few of the creations in sand.

More than 300 sand sculptures, this unique exhibition in a former factory hall, connect Bible stories, pagan religions, history, art and culture.
In terrific detail, both in large and small sculptures (some rise up to 8 meters high, e.g. the Egyptian pharaohs) they are amazing, made by the best sand artists in the world.

The attraction is an initiative of Aad Peters. From the Dark Ages, the sand sculptures leads the visitor back to the roots of Christianity. But also other religions, beliefs and communities find a place among the thousand-year-old olive trees and special, historical objects (dating back to the historic fishing culture of Elburg such as sluice gates) and large water barrels.

On 02April2019 Ted Neeley, who starred for 45 years in the role of Jesus in the rock opera 'Jesus Christ Superstar', performed the official opening of 'Bible stories in sand' in Elburg.
Open all year round!

More photos on Flickr.com



Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)
The area is characterized by remains and ruins of structures of the laboratory.

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)
The forest is freely accessible from sunrise to sunset. Marked hiking trails lead you past the models
of waterworks that lie like ruins in the forest.

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)

Waterloopbos Flevopolder (Natuurmonumenten)
After it lost its function as a place for large-scale test setups of flood defences and dams, a swamp
forest developed.

In the Waterloopbos, the Dutch have learned to work with water. They owe their worldwide fame for water management to all the research that has taken place in this forest...

The Waterloopbos is a former site for watercourse research near Marknesse in the Noordoostpolder, province of Flevoland. It was a test site of the Waterloopkundig Laboratorium De Voorst, a branch of the Waterloopkundig Laboratorium in Delft.
Here, hundreds of studies have been conducted on the behavior of water. One finds remnants of the research into the Delta Works, but also of waterworks for exotic places such as the port of Lagos.

The site, which is part of the approximately 1.000 hectare Voorsterbos, has been owned by the
Vereniging Natuurmonumenten since 2002 and has been included in the register of national monuments since 2016.
A magical place!

www.natuurmonumenten.nl/ - /waterloopbos (NL)
More photos on Flickr.com



Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Portrait of a woman in 'Zuid-Bevelandse' costume, Goes 1890-1899, by Jacobus Magielse

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Zaandam 1931, by Piet Zwart

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Amsterdam under German occupation, WW2. Jewish Quarter, 1943 by Frits J. Rotgans

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
"Hungerwinter' @Amsterdam, 1944-'45, by Emmy Andriese

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Touareg women, Mali 1958 by Violette Cornelius

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Johan Cruijff, Piet Keizer, Klaas Nuninga & Sjaak Swart (1067), by Paul Huf

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Zuid-Molukkers, Tiel (1970), by Ed van der Elsken

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Hong Kong 1971, by Pieter Martens

Eregalerij van de Nederlandse fotografie
Snoop Dogg @Amsterdam 2014; by Ilja Meefout

The development of 180 years of photography.
It is the world’s first permanent gallery to honour photography as a contemporary and topical medium. In the Gallery of Honour, 99 photos tell the story of photography in the Netherlands from 1842 to the present day!
The catalgue of the exhibition shows the highlights, the innovations, and the great steps photographers have made, from the invention of photography to the unique technological innovations of today.

Through 6 time periods, the visitor is taken through the fascinating development of 180 years of photography.
I found the sort of photography in the end mostly less inspiring compared to the first two-thirds, which I found surprising.

www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl/ - - - /gallery-of-honour-of-dutch-photography



'Papyrus', by Irene Vallejo (2019)
NL: 'Een geschiedenis van de wereld in boeken'
Dutch translation by Adri Boon (2021)

A powerful ode to the written word. Vallejo makes fascinating connections between modern times and ancient texts and myths.
The book as a vessel of writing is one of the most beautiful inventions in the world, and this book is a worthy tribute, one of those rare 5-star books one encounters once a year at best!

With a book, words can travel through time and space, and thus ensure that we gain knowledge of what happened, for example, 30 centuries ago.
Irene Vallejo takes the reader on a journey through the life of this fascinating object. The reader is the proverbial fly on the wall at the battlefields of Alexander the Great and at the villa of Papyri at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, at the first known libraries and workshops where manuscripts were copied and at the campfires where forbidden books burned.
Along the way, Vallejo connects classical works with the dizzying modern world and contemporary debates: Aristophanes and the lawsuits against cartoonists, Sappho and the literary voice of women, Seneca and politics.

'Papyrus' (subtitled in the English edition 'The Invention of Books in the Ancient World') is an incredible adventure, written in beautiful proze, starring thousands of people who have ensured the survival of the book over the centuries: storytellers, copyists, illustrators, translators, street vendors, teachers, spies, rebels, nuns, slaves, adventurers and booksellers.
It is a beautiful ode to the written word that shows how individual lives and societies are influenced and shaped by books.

Very well written, admirable, a worthy magnum opus. A deep love for books and reading (sadly the origin seems to be Vallejo was bullied in her childhood) resounds in all the pages of this masterpiece.

Irene Vallejo (b.1979) earned her doctorates for classic literature from the Universities of Zaragoza and Florence.
'Papyrus' was awarded the National Essay Prize and the Critical Eye Prize for Narrative in Spain, and it is set to be translated and published in 30 countries. It is Vellejo's 1st non-fiction book.
Vallejo is a regular columnist for El País and Heraldo de Aragón, and she is the author of 2 novels, 3 collections of essays, articles, and short fiction, as well as 2 children’s books.

www.hebban.nl/ - /papyrus-irene-vallejo (NL)
www.penguinrandomhouse.com/- - -/irene-vallejo/



Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

Revolusi! @Rijksmuseum (2022)

REVOLUSI! is an exhibition on the impassioned pursuit of a free Indonesia after a long period of colonial domination. And it’s an important part of Dutch- as well as world history.

Diplomats, freedom fighters, victims, liberators. Everyone has a different view...
REVOLUSI! is about the Indonesian struggle for independence (1945-‘49), seen through the eyes of people who experienced it. More than 20 personal stories tell us how the ideal of a free Indonesia is fervently pursued; how it is fought over, how it is negotiated, how it is propagated and how the revolution determines human lives.
I was pleased to also see a series of photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson, who visited Indonesia in 1949.

More photo at Flickr.com



PHOTOGRAPHS >2015 by Jacobien de Korte

PHOTOGRAPHS >2015 by Jacobien de Korte

Photographs  >2015 by Jacobien de Korte

Jacobien van Es

On 'Rotterdam Photo I came across work by Jacobien de Korte. It was one of the containers that grabbed my attention so I stepped for a closer look. We also talked about the nooklet she had for sale, 'Photographs >2015', as I am interested in publishing one day myself and interested in 'affordable projects'.
I am glad I stumbled on her work, she has an admirable career on international exhibitions!

Some of her biography (www.pulchri.nl/nl/kunstenaars/jacobien-de-korte/#, Google Translate): 'My autonomous work arises from personal feelings and experiences.
In a quiet, introverted way I try to express concepts such as alienation, loneliness, mystery and melancholy. These are recognizable to every person to a greater or lesser extent.
With the pursuit of mutual recognisability, I hope to offer comfort and understanding, as well as to find it.
Printing my work on fine art paper is an important part of the process.
Work has been exhibited in Dutch museums and galleries and in various countries: Italy (Vicenza), England (London), France (Excedeuil), Portugal (Lisbon), Tiradentes (Brazil). For 2023 I have been invited by the European Cultural Centre to participate in the architecture biennale.'




Rotterdam Photo 2022
A photo event in shipping containers showing the link with Rotterdam, Europe's the largest seaport.

Rotterdam Photo 2022

Rotterdam Photo 2022

Photography by Jorrit 't Hoen on display, of house interiors featuring fish tanks.
The kids were obviously bored to death, but I was grateful for them here!

Rotterdam Photo 2022
Natalina Zainal - www.rotterdamphoto.eu/exhibition/natalina-zainal/

Rotterdam Photo 2022
Except for the superb photography, the location caught my attention: Kiruna!
I enjoyed the 'Rebecka Martinsson'-books, by the Swedish novelist Asa Larsson, and the
subsequent tv-series. Unfortunately a visit to this fascinating location has not yet come about for me,
but these photographs by Gregor Kallina (www.gregorkallina.com) has rekindled this notion!

Rotterdam Photo 2022
Too much to see, take your time!

Rotterdam Photo is an annual photo fair with a festival flair. The event celebrates the spectrum of contemporary photography in all its diversity.
Being part of the Rotterdam Art Week, the event yearly attracts around 10.000 visitors, among whom art lovers, collectors, gallerists, as well as international art press professionals from different parts of the globe. This year the exihibiots of 2021 and 2022 were combined.

Every year the fair offers a wide gamut of independent photographers the opportunity to exhibit their projects.
Photographers can participate individually or on behalf of the gallery by submitting their works and projects via an open call related to the current theme.
The goal of the photo fair is to offer an affordable exhibition space directly to photographers, proposing lower costs compared to the traditional art/photo fairs. Many of the containers shared 2 artists.

The edition 2022 is unique for the Rotterdam Photo. Due to several postponements and cancellations caused by COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time, the festival has 2 themes at the same time – PLANET HUMAN & THE HUMAN BLUEPRINT.

Under the umbrella of these 2 themes, more than a 100 (!) photographers from all over the globe show their projects this May.
All photographers from the Rotterdam Photo 2021 edition ( PLANET HUMAN theme) and photographers from Rotterdam Photo 2022 edition (THE HUMAN BLUEPRINT theme) have become part of the new Rotterdam Photo 2022 XL edition...

I might join myself one day, it's a great event! I only would wish it would last longer that a mere 4 days!

More photos on Flickr.com



Snoecks 2022
Not just a pretty face..

Snoecks 2022
The first 24 pages ('Snoecks Boeken') are a header for tips on what to read, new trends
and remarkable books in the world of books and literature, including 3 pages on photobooks.

Snoecks 2022

Snoecks 2022
Curtis & Sonderegger, rebuilding iconic photographs

Snoecks 2022
Djibouti, the new gate to Africa ¬report by Dominic Nahr

Snoecks 2022
Jonas Leriche: 'glitter, glamour, nature'

Snoecks 2022
Annette LeMay Burke: Hidden in Plain Sight

Snoecks 2022
'RhOME', photography by Valentina Piccini & Jean-Marc Caimi. Essay by Ingrid Allaerts

Snoecks 2022
Ole Marius Joergensen: Amricana Norwegian-style (essay Caroline de Ruyck)

Snoecks 2022
Ragnar 'RAX'Axelson: Arctic Heroes

Snoecks 2022
JR's Unlimited Art', text by Halbe de Jong on art by Jean René

Snoecks 2022
Reinhard Görner's photography on books 'hidden' in somptueus places

Snoecks 2022

Snoecks is a Belgian almanac. The 550-plus-page (!) magazine is published once a year in October and focuses on new international developments in the arts, photography and literature.
The magazine has featured artists such as Anton Corbijn, Larry Sultan, Matthew Barney, Terry Richardson, Ron Mueck, Alberto Garcia-Alix, Peter Lindbergh, Albert Watson, Desiree Dolron, Bettina Rheims, Diana Scheunemann, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders and Andres Serrano. The first Snoecks appeared in the 1920s, but its modern form, with an emphasis on photography, has its base in the 1970s. Since 2004 its editor-in-chief has been Geert Stadeus.

This 98th (!) volume of the Snoecks yearbook offers the familiar and inspiring mix of art, fascinating reports, literary essays and powerful photography.
From the witty DIY productions by 'car builders' at the Burning Man festival, to the gripping search for a sister of Lindokuhle Sobekwa, to a privileged look behind the scenes of the famous Teatro alla Scala in Milan. A masterpiece of compilation, one may even go as far as declaring the Snoecks a a bible of 'the humanistic arts'...
This edition was (again) produced by Geert Stadieus as Chief Editor and Patrick Snoeck, Publisher.

Sarah Bouillaud and Elinor Carucci each give a twist to the concept of 'family photo' in their own way, Cortis & Sonderegger and JR question the way we perceive and Annette LeMay Burke shows with a wink mobile phone masts (see image above) that pretend they are not there. All this in good company of the work of many other photographers and other visual artists from home and abroad.
Always a nice interaction of photography and books, the stories of centuries-old and hypermodern libraries. My immediate reaction is to make a list and visit them all!

For those who love books, in addition to the regular book section, the obituaries as a conclusion (too many pages, so sad!) of writers who died (including John le Carré) in the past year and the literary prizes, this time there are also two special short stories by Mariana Enriquez and Jonathan Oliver - exciting with an occult edge.

Snoeck Publishers was founded in 1989. Most of the publications focus on art and culture in a broad sense: the visual arts, archaeology, applied art, architecture and design, film and photography, art history and ethnography, heritage etc.
Originally owned by the graphics company Snoeck-Ducaju en Zoon, Snoeck Publishers has been completely independent since 2004. Philip Van Bost took over Snoeck Publishers in 2011.
Snoeck publishes about 60 books per year, mainly in partnership with museums and clients, most of which are in Belgium and France.
Snoeck Publishers has its roots in Ghent, and its headquarters are still there today.




Chasing Shadows by Sam Ryan (photobook)

Chasing Shadows by Sam Ryan (photobook)

Chasing Shadows by Sam Ryan (photobook)

Chasing Shadows by Sam Ryan (photobook)

Chasing Shadows by Sam Ryan (photobook)


When I was in Glasgow recently, I visited the Glasgow Gallery of Photography ( 57 Glassford Street, Glasgow City Centre) and acquired this photobook by local photographer Samantha Ryan (from Paisley).
She specialises in black and white photography.
Sam spent a year between 2018 and 2019 capturing the interplay of light and shadow on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Capturing images on most days, Sam has now curated 17 of her favourite shots into her first book, titled Chasing Shadows.
The book is hardcover, printed 10x8in on high quality pearl finish paper. And while I don't understand the process of ordering I copy here the instructions from the website: 'Orders are placed and fulfilled through Blurb books, a global printer and distributor of photo books. Click the button below to order a copy (link does not open in new window).' ¬samryanphotography.com/publications
Really pleased with this book and her work in my collection, also recognized some of the streets I walked through!




Searching for Life - Photography from Syria (Khaled Akacha)
Searching for Life - Photography from Syria (Khaled Akacha)
A publication during the exhibition at the Glasgow Gallery of Photography of the same name

Upon a recent visit to Glasgow I stumbled upon this gallery dedicated to photography. I had not noticed it during my research for this trip, but apparently they haven't been long here at this adress: 57 Glassford Street, Glasgow City Centre G1 1UB.
At the Glasgow Gallery of Photography I enjoyed a solo exhibition (30Apr22-30May22) of work by
Syrian photographer Khaled Akacha.
The booklet contains 26 images.
Curated and produced by E.Springall, sponsored by Silverprint.

Khaled Akacha is a Syrian media activist and writer who resides in the city of Idlib. He uses his photography to report and document what is happening in his country.
He has worked with various news agencies such as Aljazeera and Reuters, as well as the United Nations.
He hopes that through his photography he can share the Syrian plight with as many people all around the world.

The Glasgow Gallery of Photography began as a free online gallery in 2015, and since 2019 has a physical space in the city centre of Glasgow. Holding regular exhibitions throughout the year, the gallery displays the work of both Scottish and international photographers. And they have a nice selection of books for sale.
Don't miss the large showcase of international street photography in the large basement of The Glasgow Gallery of Photography!
Whenever I'll be visiting Glasgow, I'll stop by here!




Helen Levitt, Photofile

Helen Levitt - Photofile

Helen Levitt - Photofile

Helen Levitt - Photofile

Helen Levitt - Photofile

A compact survey, published 2021, of the work of 20th-century photographer Helen Levitt, best known for her New York street photography.

Brooklyn-born photographer Helen Levitt (b.31Aug1913 – d.29Mar2009) was an assistant to Walker Evans and a friend of Henri Cartier-Bresson, but forged her own path with fierce independence and endless curiosity about the world around her.
She is best known for her street photography, capturing children at play on the streets of Depression-era New York.
Following her first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1943, she devoted more than a decade to filmmaking, but returned to photography in the late 1950s and began to work in colour as well as black and white.

Her choice to display children playing in the street and explore street photography, fights against what was going on at the time.
Legislation being passed in New York at the time was limiting many of the working classes access to these public spaces. Laws were passed that directly targeted these communities in an attempt to control them. New bans on noise targeted working class and minority communities.
There was a movement to also try to keep children from playing on the street believing it is unsafe for them out there.

She had to give up making her own prints in the 1990s due to sciatica, which also made standing and carrying her Leica difficult, causing her to switch to a small, automatic Contax.
She was born with Ménière's syndrome, an inner-ear disorder that caused her to feel 'wobbly' all her life.
I know how hard it is to keep a balance in such condition when you look through the viewfinder and loose the rest of the surrounding vista; I often need a doorframe, a lamppost or an elbow against a wall to coördinate a balance in my head.

She never married, living alone with her yellow tabby Blinky. Levitt died in her sleep on March 29th, 2009, at the age of 95.

David Levi Strauss described her as "the most celebrated and least known photographer of her time".
A retrospective exhibition of Levitt's work, 'In the Street', was showing at The Photographers' Gallery in London from October 2021 to February 2022. Alas, I missed that one, I hope this exhibition will travel to the European continent as well!




Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

Diane Arbus: Ohne Titel

When I had read the biography on Diane Arbus: Portrait of a Photographer, by Arthur Lubow, I was determined to find for myself a photobook of her work. I found 'Ohne Titel' ('Untitled'), a German publication, and ordered it online from a German bookseller.
It is indeed indicative of her work, I find.

Born into considerable wealth, Arbus suffered all her life from the guilt of privilege. Her mother, Gertrude, was the heir to the family business, Russeks, a prestigious department store on 5th Avenue that sold furs. While Gertrude was detached to the point of cold, her husband, David Nemerov, was strict to the point of bullying.
Diane Nemerov married Allan Arbus when she was 18. Allan worked in the company’s advertising department. Soon after they were married Allan gave her a camera as a present.

'Ohne Titel' was published in 1995 by 'The Estate of Diane Arbus´. Support by Marvin Israel, who played such a major role in Diane's life, in the publication of this book is mentioned seperately.
The images in this book were taken by Arbus during 1969-1971, and some people might consider them shocking. Or photography of mentally handicapped people in itself shocking in terms of ethics.

The photos included in this book featured portraits taken outdoors during the final years of Arbus’ life
(-between 1969 and 1971-) on repeated trips to developmental disability residencies in New Jersey. While some photos feature solo figures that boldly confront our gaze, most images include various groups (mostly women) engaged in cheerful activities: an afternoon picnic, a Halloween parade, ladies in floppy sun hats, girls in bathing suits ready for a swim, an elderly woman in a wheelchair wearing a Venetian mask.

Diane Arbus felt a special kind of empathy with people considered 'freaks' in hard-nosed society. With many she kept in contact over the years. These human moments, depicted in 'Untitled', are tender and touching.
Doon Arbus, Diane's eldest daughter, wrote an essay in this book explaining Diane's position in some of her controversial photography.

Because much of her work was so controversial and non-commercial, she was constantly pressed for money and depressed. She lamented that her work no longer gave her anything back and a photo of her
in 1971 shows her gaunt in her Westbeth apartment, the same year she killed herself.

My book discussion on Arthur Lubow's biography can be found on MyBlog-2022Q1

artpulsemagazine.com/diane-arbus: untitled
americansuburbx.com/2009 -untitled-by-diane-arbus (review)



Smeulend Vuur - Arnaldur Indridason

Smeulend vuur ('Treigasteinn'; EN: 'The Quiet Mother') is the latest Konrad mystery by Arnaldur Indriðason.
An elderly woman named Valborg is found murdered in her home; on her desk is a piece of paper with the telephone number of the retired policeman Konráð. It turns out that some time earlier the woman had asked him to track down the child she had given up almost 50 years ago, immediately after birth, but Konráð had replied that he could not help her. Now he regrets it and intends to track down the child.

Konráð is an emphatic person and (almost) always explains that he is a retired detective and people are not under any obligation to coöperate with his investigation. With certain men he blows a fuse though.
The plot developes calmly, and we see police inspector Marta returning to the scene but while she is searching for a killer, Konráð is looking for an abandoned child without even knowing whether the child is a boy or a girl.

Konráð is still struggling with memories of his father: by whom and why was his father killed?
He revisits the location where his father was found in a pool of blood and meets the woman who had found him.
This brings him again in contact with Eygló, daughter of his father's partner in a fraudulent setup.
Eygló's father was able to contact the dead, she is convinced about that and struggles with such capacities herself. She is more or less convinced that her father was a weak man under the bad influence of Konráð's father.

Valborg had worked in discotheque Glaumbaer when she was young, a very popular place. One night it went up in flames, shortly after that she had a child away from family and friends. He finds out that a midwife named Sunnefa had convinced her not to have an abortion and Sunnefa, a religious fanatic, had taken the baby away. But Sunnefa had died long ago.

Slowly Konráð follows a trail of people and finds people who have a vague memory of a lonely, lost boy.
The clue unravels in a way you won't see coming!

Am looking forward to the next Konráð mystery: Þagnarmúr (Wall of Silence)!

en.wikipedia.org:_Arnaldur_ Indriðason



Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
Like a fish in the water ('as a duck takes to water') - prize winning float

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
Noordwijk embraces

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
Noordwijk embraces: LOVE, FREEDOM

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
Born to discover

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
The myth of the white swan (Lisse)

Bloemencorso Bollenstreek 2022
Freedom to travel

Enjoyed watching the floats go by yesterday (@Lisse) for the '2022 Bloemencorso Bollenstreek' parade.
The Bloemencorso of the Bollenstreek is the largest spring festival in The Netherlands.
This colourful (and fragrant!) spectacle is celebrated annually during one week of the year by more than one million visitors. Due Corona 2020 + 2021 were cancelled, and this time the turn out was again something like a million people attending the parade from the start in Noordwijk to the destination in the centre of Haarlem.
The addition of cheerful music from the marching bands contribute to the festive atmosphere.

The main highlight of the event is the parade on Saturday when the colourful floats and the luxury vehicles decorated in masses of flowers travel the 42 km route. On the sunday the floats can be admired whilst stationary in Haarlem and wave them goodbye when they leave at the end of the day.

More photos on MyFlickr.com



Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn
Living quarters including animal shelter

Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn
Bronze tools including axes explained

Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn

Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn
NL: Draailier | EN: Hurdygurdy

I was fascinated by this instrument and stopped for a chat and some explanation.
From Wikipedia:
"The hurdy-gurdy is a string instrument that produces sound by a hand-crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings.
The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin.
Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents—small wedges, typically made of wood—against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board and hollow cavity to make the vibration of the strings audible.
The hurdy-gurdy is generally thought to have originated from fiddles in either Europe or the Middle East some time before the 11th century A.D."

Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn
I really enjoyed that music, I recognised some of it from music played over tv documentaries.

Archeon Museum, Alphen aan de Rijn


In the Archeon park & museum in Alphen a/d Rijn one travels a timeline from pre-historic days, through Medieval times and which ends in 14th century 'Gravendam'.
Information boards explain about the dwelling and living conditions, plus where they were found in the Dutch Lowlands.
From hunter-gatherers through Roman days into Medieval times, with peasants growing their own crops, keeping their own cattle.
Most industry in medieval Europe was carried out on a very small scale and was closely related to farming, either processing its produce or servicing its needs. Much of this was carried out within rural villages rather than in towns.
Brewing, milling, baking bread, cheese-making, spinning, weaving, making clothes, tanning leather and making shoes, belts, woodworking, smithing and building and maintaining cottages, barns and other buildings, all were done by the villagers themselves within their own households.
We see how farm animals first live inside the house, later are moved out. Houses become more refined with boarded floors and larger.
It's a fascinating walking tour through history with tools and customs further explained by volunteers in periodic dress, through times of the 'cottage industry' (NL: Huisnijverheid) which slowly gave way to industrialisation.
We ended the visit with a demonstration by re-enactors in the arena, 2 gladiators duelling.

From Wikipedia: 'Archeon is an archeological open air and living museum in Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands that did open in 1994.
In Alphen an ancient Roman military fortress has been established around 40, the settlement was given the latin name Albaniana.
A restoration yard with original wooden ships from the Roman period, found at Zwammerdam, is part of the collection.
Archeon was and is host to several festivals such as the Midsummer Fair, the Midwinter Fair, the Roman Festival and the Elf Fantasy Fair.'

Glad I finally came into an opportunity to visit the Archeon, maybe I'll revisit during such a fair!




Keukenhof @Lisse 12Apr2022
'Product of Holland'

Keukenhof @Lisse 12Apr2022
Closed during 2020 & 2021 due the Covid-19 pandemic, so great to see it reopened!

Keukenhof @Lisse 12Apr2022

Keukenhof @Lisse 12Apr2022
I hate selfies!

Keukenhof @Lisse 12Apr2022

Keukenhof (EN: 'Kitchen garden'; a.ka. the Garden of Europe, is one of the world's largest flower gardens, situated in the municipality of Lisse, in the Netherlands.
It is widely known for its tulips, it also features numerous other flowers, including hyacinths, daffodils, lilies, roses, carnations and irises.

The Keukenhof is located south of Haarlem and southwest of Amsterdam in the area called the 'Dune and Bulb Region' (Duin- en Bollenstreek). It is accessible by bus from Haarlem and Leiden train stations as well as Schiphol.
Though its grounds are open year-round for private affairs and festivals, Keukenhof is only open to the general public for a world-renowned 8 week tulip display from mid-March to mid-May, with peak viewing arriving near mid-April, depending on growing season weather, which varies annually.




Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel

Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel
L: 1985 Drifter with dog at the Prins Hendrikkade (in front of Amsterdam's Central Station)
R: 1985 "As the winter sets in on raid for a bit of warmth!" Brouwersgracht

Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel
1988 Levantkade (KNSM-Island)

Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel
1988 Pressure group RaRa riots during the conviction of anti apartheid activist René Roemersma

Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel
Above L: 1985 Entrepotdok. A retired captain on his ship. R: 1985 The Singel (corner Brouwersgracht)
Bottom L: 1988 The Kostverlorenkade. R: 1988 The J.G. Busker passes De Wiegbrug (bridge nr.173)

Circus Amsterdam - Gerard Wessel
Holy business

For a long time, photographer Gerard Wessel lived on the Singel, in the centre of Amsterdam. There he became fascinated by the city’s multifarious urban life existing within a short distance from his house: junkies, prostitutes, tourists, vagrants, club kids, and rebellious youth.
Many aspects of society, politics, music, visual arts, and fashion could be found on the streets.
Wessel captured the city’s daily life with his Rolleiflex Wide camera, his archive growing steadily through the 1980s and ’90s, and into the 21st century.
He became so well-known that, for some young people, you were only really part of Amsterdam’s nightlife scene if you had been photographed by Wessel.

"Don't call me a news photographer," says Gerard Wessel, "because I'm actually a traditional street photographer. Wandering through the city with a small-screen camera and without appointments, I feel happiest."
It is the confession of someone who has great admiration for the New York news hunter Weegee, the American photographer Diane Arbus. but also the poetic approach of fashion photographer Paolo Roversi.

Immediately after his studies at the Hague School of Photography and Photonics, Wessel became staff photographer of Nieuwe Revu in 1985 and he became known as a chronicler of Dutch youth culture and as a 'court photographer' of pop star Herman Brood.

Like the photographer Cas Oorthuys, whom he also admires, Wessel spends as much time archiving and categorizing his photographic production as he does in photographing itself.
He is aware that he is constantly highlighting changing images of time, in which aspects of politics, music, fashion and visual arts come together, and that these are not only newsworthy for the moment but also have an importance for the future.

Pages: 192, illustrated colour & bw, 24 x 28 cm, paperbackb, Dutch/English

www.ideabooks.nl/ -gerard-wessel-circus-amsterdam



Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022
LOOK (and find the 3rd person)

Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022

Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022
Ezra Pound

Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022
Brandt's portrait of Graham Greene

Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022
Brandt's portrait of Francis Bacon

Bill Brandt: The Beautiful and the Sinister, FOAM 2022
Bill Brandt's Hasselblad camera and the Rolleiflex.

Visited today Bill Brandt's exhibition at FOAM (Fotografi Amsterdam), he's one of the most influential and internationally acclaimed photographer and photojournalist.
Bill Brandt's The Beautiful and the Sinister demonstrates the close relationship existing between the work of the British photographer and the art of the European avant-garde, in particular Surrealism.
I saw his work published in the English photo magazines I read in the 1970, and I always thought that his abstract nudes were what he was all about. I was pleased to find out I was wrong!
Departing from the notion that the sinister ('unheimlich') is an ever present element of Brandt’s photographs, the exhibition shows how this characteristic manifests itself in both his artistic and documentary practice.
From his earliest photographs in the 1930s, to his portraits and nudes in later years, Brandt shows a permanent fascination to the strange. Sinister and fascinating!

Bill Brandt’s work of the 1930s is characterised by its emphasis on social inequality in England during that time. By using his family contacts, he was able to visualise the extreme contrasts of wealth in British society.
Brandt was most innovative in his photographic experimentation of nudes. These photographs possess a great symbolic significance that in many cases is related to elements taken from psychoanalysis and Surrealism, such as a strong lighting contrast, the inclusion of elements like images, mirrors or doors and windows as symbols of escape.
Most novel was his use of a wide-angle lens. It reshaped and distorted the viewpoint of the naked figure.
In his landscape photography he combined nature and industry as he moved away from the picturesque. Brandt created a sombre vision of the United Kingdom, in which rainy landscapes and mists, and commonplace and industrial structures replaced the sublime in nature.
Taking the idea of the sinister as one of the elements in Bill Brandt’s images, the exhibition shows how this idea appears throughout the artist’s practice, focusing on his photojournalism and the three genres of artistic photography: nude, portraiture and landscape.

Bill Brandt (born Hermann Wilhelm Brandt; 02May1904 – d.20Dec1983) was a British photographer and photojournalist.
Born in Germany, Brandt moved to England, where he became known for his images of British society. During World War II Brandt concentrated on many subjects – as can be seen in his Camera in London (1948) but excelled in portraiture and landscape.
Brandt became Britain's most influential and internationally admired photographer of the 20th century.

www.foam.org/about/- - -/bill-brandt


Antwerp by Michael Pye

Michael Pye’s focus is not on Antwerp of the past and present, but in its 'glory years', which filled most of the century that began in 1500.
“Commerce was its identity,” he writes, “the energy which held it together.” Fundamental to that was a very “pragmatic kind of tolerance”: Antwerp’s “business depended on foreign traders, so it had no interest in abolishing the heresies to which so many of those traders were attached”.
In Antwerp, money mattered, not God.

Pye draws on a rich tapestry of sources – and individuals – to paint his portrait. Some were little known beyond inventories of the goods they left behind.
The large number of sources probably explain the fragmented way of writing, each page is brimming with facts. One moment it details a person, then the ethics involved, locations in Antwerp, connections abroad, opposing persons, dates, proclamations, family connections, religions, et cetera...
For me this made reading difficult and unattractive, there's not exactly a flow to follow but instead there's a machinegun fire of facts and brief explanations, and onto the next bit.

Antwerp was the world's market for ideas, spices and secrets. It was also the place for breaking the rules - intellectual, religious, sexual. I love the 16th century but this book shows 'there can be too much of a good thing'.
For me this book is a massive amount of research and information and it pains me to say this, I'd rather had a few less facts and a book better written.

www.theguardian.com/books/2021/ - /antwerp-the-glory-years



Opening Bookstore ATHENAEUM Zuidoost Amsterdam

Opening Bookstore ATHENAEUM Zuidoost Amsterdam

Opening Bookstore ATHENAEUM Zuidoost Amsterdam
The portrait on the right is of Anton de Kom

Opening Bookstore ATHENAEUM Zuidoost Amsterdam
Speech by Gershwin Bonevacia

(1 photo book: The Obsessed, about subcultures in Japan eg Cosplay).
I scored a nice selection of books, including one photobook: 'The Obsessed', about
subcultures in Japan e.g. Cosplay). Wonderful!

We attended the festive opening of the Athenaeum Bookshop Zuidoost (Amsterdam) yesterday.
A band with drums and trumpets livened up the opening, hips swaying to the rhythm.

From March 2022 there is this quirky, spacious bookstore in the Amsterdams Poort shopping center – near the Amsterdam Arena: Athenaeum Boekhandel Zuidoost.
The offer is broad and aimed at the very diverse audience in Zuidoost. The people, many with a distinct cultural non-white background, all those who work and live there in Amsterdam Zuidoost ('Bijlmer') can visit and browse the multi-cultural and as well as popular book titles. They also have an excellent selection of international magazines and newspapers.

Staff and the Chair of the City Council Zuidoost, Tanja Jadnanansing, made their speeches (about the love of books, in every culture, at every age).

Gershwin Patrick Bonevacia (b.19May1992 in Rotterdam) read some of his work for those that gathered this day. He's a Dutch writer, poet and philosopher and from March 2019 to January 2022 he was 'city poet of Amsterdam'.
Bonevacia partly grew up in Curaçao. At the age of 9 he moved to the Netherlands, since then he has lived in Amsterdam.
In his role as a poet and writer, Bonevacia collaborates with organisations such as the Van Gogh Museum, Erasmus University up to NPO and TEDx. He writes a poem for Het Parool every month. Bonevacia recited his pieces to the Royal Family and for the NTR.
Behind the writing talent of Gershwin Bonevacia lies a special story. Bonevacia has dyslexia, something that often got in the way of him at the beginning of his school career. A writer with dyslexia sounds like an impossible combination, but not for Bonevacia.
I bought his book 'Toen Ik Klein Was, Was Ik Niet Bang'.

At Athenaeum Boekhandel Zuidoost one will find a rich and surprising assortment of books about history, fashion, film and music.
In addition, one will find a lot of (children's) literature (Dutch and English) and specialist journals. Athenaeum Boekhandel Zuidoost works together with the various cultural institutions that zuidoost is rich in, and provides an assortment that fits the unique, cosmopolitan atmosphere in this part of Amsterdam.

www.amsterdam.nl/stadsdelen/zuidoost/- - -/tanja-jadnanansing/ (NL)
More photos of this on www.flickr.com/photos




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Created: 03-apr-2022