zaterdag 1 september 2012

What We Like GUP #10 Wij zijn 17 Johan van der Keuken Photography


Bussum, C.A.J. van Dishoeck, 1955.  Pp: 64. Fourth edition, no date. Text in Dutch by S. Carmiggelt. This is the first book by Joan van der Keuken. The pictures were made and published by a 17 years old scholar from the Montessori Lyceum in Amsterdam. He took photographs of his friends and school-mates. The layout of this book was in that time a small revolution. "œIn 1955, the 17-year-old Joan van der Keuken caused a stir in Dutch publishing with his book Wij zijn 17 (We are 17), prefiguring the even greater furore that would greet the publication of Ed van der Elsken`s Een Liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Pres (Love on the Left Bank) a year later. Van der Keuken's book was as innovative as Van der Elsken's in its treatment of a section of society - not a class exactly, but a societal group - that was beginning to be regarded as a class apart.It is sometimes forgotten in these days of 'youth culture' that it was only from around the 1950s onwards that the young were first talked about in this way. Previously they had been regarded - give a modicum of wild oats sowing and youthful high spirits - largely as replicas of their parents. In the 1950s, however, with its anxious air of repressed rebellion, such attitudes were overturned. The Beat Generation, the Beatnik movement, James Dean - the original rebel without a cause - and a pouting, gyrating phenomenon called Elvis Presley, drew the world's attention to the fact that, since the war, a new alien seemed to have been dropped on the planet - the teenager.Van der Keuken's two books, Wij zijn 17 and his followup, Achter Glas (Behind Glass, 1957), caught this mood perfectly. Whilst perhaps not stream-of-consciousness in style, they certainly are in terms of attitude, capturing a moment's experience in which nothing much happens except for the moment itself. The 30 pictures in Wij zijn 17 are tellingly simple. Students lounge around in their rooms, doing nothing very much, as if waiting for their adult lives to begin. The mood is uncertain, capturing that moment when childhood ends and youth must take a deep breath and step out into the world.This was also the theme of Achter Glas, Van der Keuken's second foray into the new form of the 'photonovel'. Two sisters, Georgette and Yvonne, do little more than sit by a window, day-dreaming. And it was this youthful lassitude, this apparent aimlessness, perfectly expressed by Van der Keuken, that caused a degree of controversy. But this view of teenage rebellion at the sulky rather than more active stage rings painfully true. It became a model for other books examining the same phenomenon, not he least of which is the recent work of Van der Keuken's compatriot, Helen van Meene, whose similar view of Dutch adolescents - now in colour - has also proved controversial."(From: Martin Parr and Gerry Badger : The Photobook: A History volume 1/ The Indecisive Moment: The 'Stream-of-Consciousness' Photobook). Cond./Kwaliteit: Goed.


June 29, 2011 Author: Jochem Rijlaarsdam, Peter Bas Mensink and Roy Kahmann Tags: Issue #10 Photo Books Introductions Martin Parr


June 30, 2011 Author: Peter Bas Mensink Tags: Issue #10 Collectors Tips Photo Books
A sunny spring day in picturesque Leusden, The Netherlands, in the middle of the countryside in an absolutely ordinary neighbourhood. I walk into a very normal room in a very normalhouse containing a collection that is anything but ordinary. I find myself in a room barely ten square metres large with two computers, three chairs, a desk and 5,500 books.  
I am visiting the greatest collector of Dutch photography books, Jan Wingender. What started as an interest in photography has evolved into a hobby that has gotten completely out of hand. Every corner of the small room is filled with books, which are neatly arranged by genre and in excellent condition. A sophisticated computer archive tells you exactly which photographer can be found in which book, and vice versa. A machine provides air moisture, and ingeniously constructed shelves ensure that all available space is perfectly used. Despite all this, there isn’t space for even one more book because Jan’s wife does not allow him to keep books on the floor anymore. Luckily part of the attic will soon be his to use.  
Lack of space and astonishment
It all started in 1956 when Jan visited the Family of Man exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The photography made such a deep impression on him that it has since never released its hold. He was astonished and pleased to find that photography could have a much more significant impact than other art forms. Not long afterwards, one photography book after another started to find its way into his home and into the Wingender family’s bookcase. It was only when the first large bookcase was full that choices had to be made. There simply wasn’t enough space. Jan decided to limit his interest in photography books to those from the Netherlands only, unaware that the same lack of space would soon haunt him again. Jan discovered the immense value of The Dutch Photography Book Collection, as his collection is officially known, when Matti Boom (curator Rijksmuseum, GUP) paid a visit to his house and literally stood agape with astonishment with what she saw.
Exhausted resources
A real collector never sells a part of the collection, even if the potential sale of a book enables him to buy ten more. In Jan’s case, that sometimes used to pose a problem because as a teacher at a technical college his financial means were not inexhaustible. Jan only buys one edition of a book, not all the editions with their different covers. But if the latter contains even one photograph that isn’t in the other edition, then it gets added to the collection.
500 books in one year
Any book containing even one photograph by a Dutch photographer is essentially eligible for The Dutch Photography Book Collection. Books containing photos of photographers who worked in the Netherlands for a substantial amount of time are also fair game. Photography books from 1945-1970 are the heart of the collection. It is difficult to keep up with developments at the moment because so many photo books are being published. In 2006 alone, Jan’s collection grew by 500 books. Jan has calculated that there are still 2,000 books in circulation that qualify for his collection. He has the most recent material sent to him straight from the publishers. He finds all the other books, especially older ones, by sniffing around jumble sales and used bookshops.
Interest and involvement
There is considerable interest in his unique collection in the photography world. It is a collection with immense cultural-historical value, which is enhanced by the size and care with which it is preserved. Organizations such as the Leiden University Library, the Lexicon of the History of Dutch Photography, the National Library of the Netherlands, Voetnoot Publishers and the Dutch Photography Museum in Rotterdam are all involved, some to a larger and some to a lesser degree, in his collection. Ten of the best items rom his collection are currently on display at the new photography museum until the end of August.
A little more patience please
In addition to a great deal of attention, collecting has also resulted in many friendships, some with the same photographers that inhabit his book- shelves. Nevertheless, there will come a time when he parts with his collection. And when this happens, it will be the entire collection. He does not like the idea of selling it off in parts because that would damage the singularity of The Dutch Photography Book Collection. His friend Willem Diepraam once valued the collection at several hundreds of thousands of euros. Interested buyers already exist. A little more patience and we can all see the collection. 
Jan’s shortlist 
• Cas Oorthuys, Emmy Andriesse a.o.  Amsterdam tijdens  de hongerwinter  (Amsterdam during the hunger winter) • Martien Coppens  Monsters van de Peel  (Monsters of the Peel) • Ed van der Elsken  Sweet Life • Johan van der Keuken  Paris Mortel • Carel van Hees  Play • Violette Cornelius, Carel Blazer  100 jaar Grasso  (100 year Grasso) • Ata Kando  Droom in het woud  (Dream in the forest) • Koos Breukel  The Wretched Skin • Willem Diepraam  Firmagron • Aart Klein  Nederland wordt groter  (Holland getting bigger) 
Source: GUP#010 - Photo Books

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