There’s little more we can say about Auschwitz except that it was hell on earth. The idea that anyone could experience any pleasure in this hell seems almost inconceivable. But nothing could be less true. In contrast to the prisoners, the Germans were having a ‘good’ time. This is the conclusion we reach after looking at the recently discovered photo album with snapshots of German officers, members of the SS and their friends during happy occasions. The photo book contains 116 pictures, including six of the notorious camp doctor, Joseph Mengele. The book was donated to the Holocaust Museum in New York by a former US Army officer. The album is on display at: www.ushmm.org/research/collections/highlights/auschwitz/auschwitz_album
Guide to Unique Photography
Leisure in Auschwitz
Amsterdam in pictures
Amsterdam, the Dutch capital, is the subject of millions of photographs. Tourists, inhabitants of Amsterdam and fascinated photographers take thousands of pictures of this small but dynamic metro polis every day. But which of these pictures are preserved for future generations?
Portfolio Kees Scherer
Kees Scherer (1920-1993) was born in the Amsterdam working-class district called ‘de Jordaan’. Shortly after WWII, he began working as a freelance photographer and reached the pinnacle of photojournalism with high-profile reports about the flood disaster in the province of Zeeland (1953) and the Hungarian uprising (1956). He initiated World Press Photo in 1955 with Bram Wisman. In addition to his extensive work in colour, Scherer’s early work in black/white has also been receiving increasing attention in recent years. He depicted his favourite cities in exhaustive detail, namely Amsterdam, Paris and New York.
Fun it must be
Melanie Bonajo (1978) considers photography a tool for exploring life and experimenting with her - and other people's - boundaries. She records these boundaries - staged and exploited - creating absurdist images in process.
Into the Farmlands
In 2000, photographer Han Singels (1942) bought a moped. He rode it through the polders, sometimes taking his fishing rod with him. But what’s bred in the bone will never come out of the flesh, and so the rod was replaced with two cameras: both 6x7. One had a 50-millimetre, the other an 80-millimetre lens. There’s nothing a photographer likes better than to use the summer months to do his own thing.
Krijn van Noordwijk (1958) studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy and is a multidisciplinary artist/designer, who in recent years has focused on photography. Van Noordwijk’s photography combines classic beauty with a modern vision of people and emotions. He is on the constant lookout for the ideal way to portray the ‘fierce simplicity’ of people and their moments as naturally as possible. Krijn’s visual perception is extraordinarily revealing, distinctive and explicit. Each of his photos is a highly balanced composition with the message embedded in the details. (PB)
In their works, both Henk Wildschut (1967) and Raimond Wouda (1964) explore the mutual relationships people have with each other and how individuals relate to their surroundings. These relationships are frequently captured in a personal, immediate style infused with a curiosity for society’s hidden worlds. Their book, A’DAM DOC.k – which was commissioned by the Amsterdam Municipal Archives – appeared in late 2006. The assignment called for them to ‘record Amsterdam’s harbour area.’ Wouda and Wildschut therefore decided to follow the North Sea Canal route from the seaside resort of Wijk aan Zee all the way to Amsterdam’s western dockyards. This resulted in monumental pictures of another Amsterdam. (JR)
Young Collectors : How are they?
The New Collectors of Sotheby’s and Christie’s CU@Christies are initiatives of the two illustrious auction houses, aimed specifically at a young audience interested in art and art collecting. Who exactly are these new collectors and why do they collect?
Printing on baryta paper
Nowadays, excellent paper is available for digital prints. You almost wonder why we bother to use darkrooms anymore. What’s more, inkjet printing saves you the hassle with all those nasty chemicals, plus you get a quicker result. Still, there’s something magical about a darkroom. For example, take the image that slowly appears on your sheet of paper in the developing tray. It’s a craft that gives a print added value. Because every print you develop yourself is unique. Should you decide to use a darkroom, then do it the right way from the start. Don’t print on that plastic PE paper – use baryta paper.
Harsh & Soft Inc.
Elza Jo (26) van Reenen draws her inspiration from things like My Little Pony, McDonald’s dolls, light-up sneakers and much more. By making collages, she gives herself the opportunity to review her own photography. While the action of picture-taking can be a question of a thousandth of a second, collages require contemplation. In every collage, she takes a journey into the past, back to childhood. A romantic memory that transcends reality. She explores this sense of associative recall while photographing. In her photography, Elza attempts to discover a soft side in harsh things. ‘If something is extreme in its harshness, there is always an extreme softness present as well.’ This also holds true for the ‘creeps’ and ‘arseholes’ she likes to photograph. (PB)