^ © Ed van der Elsken / Courtesy Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam
v © Martine STIG, After, 1998
The country which is the BIP guest of honour is Holland. Hanger B9, which is an old industrial building converted into an exhibition area on the campus of the Institut Supérieur des Arts Saint-Luc, will host the exhibition designed by Frits Gierstberg, who is principal curator of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, accepted the invitation from BIP2012 to present a panorama of contemporary Dutch visual creation.
Frits Gierstberg designed his exhibition around the heritage left by Ed van der Elsken, a pre-eminent Dutch photographer, who had been active since the end of the 50s and passed away in 1990. His two most notable works published were Een liefdesgeschiedenis in Saint Germain des Prés (Love on the Left Bank) (1956) and Eye Love You (1977). It was around this icon of photography in the Netherlands, perfectly in tune with the theme of BIP 2012, that Frits Gierstberg chose the contemporary artists.
“The Dutch presentation, organised by the Nederlands Fotomuseum within the context of BIP2012, is taking the book by Ed Van der Elsken Love on the Left Bank as its starting point and putting it centre stage in an exhibition on the theme of love. Van der Elsken’s work is not only at the centre of Dutch post-war photography, but, because of its quality, its significance and its international reputation, also occupies a major place in the Nederlands Fotomuseum collections. Alongside the images in the book (and Ed van der Elsken’s photographs linked with them), contemporary visions of love by today’s Dutch image creators will be on display.
This contemporary selection reflects the bravura of Van der Elsken and is to a very large extent based on quality and diversity. It will offer the public an insight into the thinking of current Dutch artists such as Martine Stig, Bertien van Manen, Komen & Murphy, Useful Photography (the magazine published by a group of artists: Erik Kessels, Hans Aarsman, Hans van der Meer, Claudie de Cleen and Julian Germain), Andrea Stultiens, Julika Rudelius, Paul Kooiker and Koos Breukel.
Their creations deal in different ways with the various themes in Van der Elsken’s book: love, intimacy, voyeurism, the game of truth and fiction, the photographer as narrator, the Internet, found footage, etc. and finally the love of the image.”