Dutch Photobooks photo-eye's The Best Books of 2013
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Food.Photographs by Henk Wildschut.
Post Editions, 2013. 144 pp., 90 color illustrations, 9x11".
Publisher's DescriptionFew subjects evoke as much controversy nowadays as the subject
of food. The world's population continues to grow, and with therise in prosperity comes an ever greater need for food that can betrusted. Inevitably, it seems, this means both an increase in scaleand unceasing technological innovation, with unpredictable results
If critical documentary makers point out the pitfalls, falseassumptions and deception in the food industry, the branch itselfadvertises its wares with nostalgic images of cows in the meadowand heads of corn swaying in the morning sun. Images that the
consumer all too willingly embraces.
Meanwhile, scandals in the food chain fuel our desire for atransparent world where food can once more be cultivated reliablyand at a modest scale. The present lack of transparency and thefact that few know the real state of play have elicited the widestrange of opinions about how our food can best be produced. The
one scientific study refutes conclusions drawn in the other. Indeed,the issue is so complex and inclusive that every discussion seems
doomed to sink under its own weight.
For Food, Henk Wildschut immersed himself in the world of today'sfarmer whom he originally saw as the most important innovator in
the food production process. But even here appearances aredeceptive: farmers are often forced to switch to a method of
husbandry where efficiency and scaling-up are the name of thegame, all under the banner of public health, food safety, the
environment and animal welfare. This holds equally for organicallyproduced food.
In his endeavour to get to grips with the production and
processing of food Wildschut, rather than restricting himself tomodern farming, also directs his quest at vegetable breeders and
cultivators, stock farms, hatcheries, fish farms, laboratories,inspection bodies and suppliers of abattoir equipment. Theirs is asqueaky-clean world where rules, regulations and protocols are
riveted together in the stainless-steel abstraction of the industrialscheme of things; a world that often seems such a far cry from the
The Secret History of KhavaGaisanova.
& The North Caucasus.By Rob Hornstra and Arnold van Bruggen.
The Sochi Project, 2013. 352 pp., 32 page insert and107 color illustrations, 8x10".
Publisher's DescriptionKhava Gaisanova lives in Chermen, a village in theheart of the North Caucasus. In 2007 her husband
disappeared, like so many men in the North Caucasusdisappear without a trace kidnapped, arrested orsimply executed and buried in anonymous graves.Writer Arnold van Bruggen and photographer Rob
Hornstra met her by chance and became intrigued byher story, which is drenched with blood but
punctuated by the will to survive. Hornstra and VanBruggen then came to the attention of the security
forces, who ultimately prevented them from travellingthrough the region. Even the strong Khava was
intimidated and her family has avoided all contactsince. Khavas history reads like the history of the
North Caucasus itself.
Hornstra and Van Bruggen have visited the NorthCaucasus numerous times between 2009 and 2012.They too became victims of the violence, corruption
and abuse of power that have plagued the region forcenturies. This book is a penetrating account of their
Cut Shaving, the Xerox Edition.Photographs by Jaap Scheeren.
FW: Books, 2013. 144 pp., color and black & whiteillustrations, 8x11".
Publisher's Description'Fresh anarchy' is a way to describe the work of Dutchphotographer Jaap Scheeren. With his own, slightly
absurdistic, style he investigates the coherencebetween reality and photography. By doing so
Scheeren developed a visual world in which he followsits own intuition, logic and rules. Always with a
humorous twist. 'Cut Shaving, The Xerox Edition'combines for the first time all of Scheeren's work. The
publication explores ways of reproducingphotography, photo-books and visual archives,
resulting in a a fresh and anarchistic publication that isnot just documenting his oeuvre, but also becomes
part of it.
The Arrangement.By Ruth van Beek.
RVB Books, 2013. 48 pp., 28 collages and 13 illustrations, 9x13".
Publisher's DescriptionThe Arrangement is a group of images Ruth Van Beek made with a
collection of books on flower arranging.She has been collectingbooks on this subject for years, mostly instructional books datingfrom fifties to the the seventies. They combine colorful stillives of
flowerarrangements with the functional photograhphy of amanual.Ruth Van Beek is specialy interested in the translation of thestrict rules and symbols of Japanese Ikebana into instructional books
for Dutch housewifes.
Paris Mortel.Photographs by Johan van der Keuken.
Van Zoetendaal Publishers, 2013. 188 pp., color and black & whiteillustrations, 7x10".
Publisher's DescriptionIn 1956 Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001) moved from Amsterdamto Paris to study at the School of Film. There Van der Keuken tookthousands of photographs, the city acting as a background to hisfeelings of desolation. In 1963 a selection of these were published
in a book called 'Paris Mortel'. The complete book, including theoriginal dummy Van der Keuken made and a few previouslyunpublished photographs are collected in this publication.
Studio Paradiso.Photographs by Max Natkiel.
Voetnoot, 2013. 624 pp., illustrated throughout, 9x9".
Publisher's DescriptionAs a frequent visitor to concerts at Paradiso,
Amsterdam?s long-running music venue, in the early1980s, Dutch photographer Max Natkiel encountered
all manner of subcultures: punks, new-wavers,rockers, mods, Rastafarians, squatters, and metal-
and skinheads. Eventually he decided to bring alonghis camera and started making portraits of the
fascinating people he found; a collection eventuallynumbering over 1000. A selection of about 600 ofthese black and white photographs appears here,reflecting the explosion of pure youth culture andfierce desire for individuality he experienced in the
decade between 1980-1990. With an introduction byphilosopher Dirk van Weelden.
The Gospel of the Photographer.Photographs by Elisabeth Tonnard.
Elisabeth Tonnard, 2013. 64 pp., 25 color illustrations,8x6".
Publisher's DescriptionWhat would it be like if Jesus had been a
photographer? What would he have done differentlyand which images would he have snapped? The
Gospel of the Photographer imagines this possibleworld through a rewriting of the gospel of Mark.Words from the gospel were replaced by wordsconnected to photography, resulting in a booby
trapped text in which photography appears as anagent of miracles and healing-and announces itselfultimately as the new religion. The book includes
twenty-five newly discovered photographs.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was stilldark, he departed and went out to a desolate place,
and there he took photographs. And Simon and thosewho were with him searched for him, and they foundhim and said to him, 'Everyone is looking for you.' Andhe said to them, 'Let us go on to the next towns, thatI may take photographs there also, for that is what I
came for.' And he went throughout all Galilee,photographing in their synagogues and casting out
Yoshino.Photographs by Cuny Janssen.
Snoeck, 2013. 58 pp., 20 color illustrations, 18x13".
Publisher's Description'Ever since the day I saw the blossoming treetops inthe Yoshino's mountains, my heart has left my body
behind', wrote the Japanese poet Saigy in thetwelfth century. And even in those days, the areaplanted with over 30,000 cherry trees flanking the
Yoshino Mountains must have been an awe-inspiringsight and make it an eloquent witness today to man's
harmonious design for luxuriant nature, socharacteristic for Japan. For over 1,400 years, thetemple, the mountain slopes and the river in Nara
prefecture are thus part of the Spring cherry blossomseason in the Buddhist pilgrim calendar; in former
times, it was the preserve of the aristocracy, todayYoshino is a popular tourist attraction.
With 19 major cross-format photographs, CunyJanssen has gathered together not only captivating
and sensitive nature shots from Yoshino in herunusual book of photographs, but has also included asmall anthology of Japanese poetry compiled by JosVos, which the Dutch Japan specialist rounds up witha travel essay, 'A fox in Yoshino'. In a way rivalled byalmost no other contemporary photographer, Cuny
Janssen knows how to structure her books to suit thegiven topic - in Yoshino for example she increases thecalm and contemplative mood of her photographs witha selection brittle poetry that celebrates of this site of
Viviane Sassen.In and Out of Fashion.
Photographs by Viviane Sassen.Prestel, Lakewood, 2012. 260 pp., 250 color illustrations,
Publisher's DescriptionFollowing the success of Parasomnia, this major newbook focuses on the fashion photography of Viviane
Bringing together 17 years of work in the fashionworld, this eye-catching volume features selections
from Sassens awardwinning series and campaigns forStella McCartney, Adidas, Carven, Bergdorf Goodman,
MiuMiu, and M Missoni, along with editorials formagazines such as the New York Times Magazine, i-D,
Numro, Purple, AnOther Magazine, Dazed&Confused, Fantastic Man, and POP. Sassens intuitive
and imaginative style can be flamboyant,contemplative, erotic, and surreal, often
simultaneously. This volume includes essays that offera context for Sassens work in the history of fashionphotography as well as a bibliography of nearly all of
her fashion series. The book will be a delight forSassens many fans and those eager for inspiration or
Read Christopher J. Johnson's review of In and Out ofFashion on photo-eye Blog.
Easter and Oak Trees.Photographs by Bertien van Manen.
MACK, 2013. 112 pp., 25 tritone illustrations, 6x8".
Publisher's DescriptionBertien van Manens blissful images of family holidaysin den Eikenhorst (literally meaning Nest of Oak Trees)
from the 1970s are the subject of her latestpublication, Easter and Oak Trees.
It was her son, one of the primary subjects in theseries, who recently reminded van Manen of the
archive. Lightness dominates these black and whiteimages, and the obvious pleasure, family warmth andsecurity of her children and family in the less politicallycorrect 70s. Children pose, play and run but ultimately
the photographs communicate the intimate comfortthat comes with family, uninhibited in their expressionand exposure to the camera. Easter and Oak Treesoffers an enticing invitation to share a small part of
this familial idyll.
The images raise the question, could a photographerstill do this in 2013? Could she photograph her
children naked, footloose and carefree, acting up tothe camera with fake cigarettes and a bottle of beer?Or is this spontaneity, this innocence, lost thanks to
rancid affairs and small-minded moralism?
Whilst this work is some of the earliest made by vanManen, it has all the qualities found in her maturework. One recognizes the lyrical looseness, the
sensuality and the melancholy but also a striving forbalance and composition. Her photographs look like
free, insouciant improvisations on themes, that later,in a Hundred Summers a Hundred Winters or in East
Wind West Wind have taken shape in a moreoutspoken way. Hripsim Visser