Cover of „Love On The Left Bank“
© Ed van der Elsken / Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam

Cover of „Love On The Left Bank“ © Ed van der Elsken / Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam


Photobook Exhibition by Ed Van Der Elsken at Poligon 


The exhibition of the photobook named “Love on the Left Bank” by Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990)  will take place at Poligon between 11 April-11 May 2013 in cooperation with from Cologne, Germany and with the support of the Istanbul Consulate General of Germany and the Netherlands .  The exhibition will be curated by Markus Schaden and Frederic Lezmi who was also the project manager of the Book Lab held at Poligon in February.
“L'enfant terrible” of Dutch photography, Ed van der Elsken was a talented photographer and film-maker who expressed his encounters with people in photos, photo books and films for more than 40 years.  Between 1950-54, Ed van der Elsken lived in Paris, where he found a group of marginal souls in the neighborhood of St. Germain des Prés. It was the post-war Paris trying to come to terms with the horror of the war and the Holocaust, searching for the meaning of life through art and philosophy. He focused his photographs around the love life of a young libertine named Ann (in real life she is Vali Myers who is to become a famous painter. Twenty years later Myers re-appeared in the film of van der Elsken “Death in the Port Jackson Hotel”) with orange hair, exotic make up and a beautiful body.  The photography book that resulted is not only regarded as the peak of his work but is also internationally recognized as one of the most extraordinary photography books of the 20th century as well as one of the first with the format of a photo-novel. Ed van der Elsken later on travelled to Japan, USA and Africa and produce many photobooks and films, marking his own legend.
The PHOTOBOOKSTUDIES initially started out as a workshop at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne and turned into a series of exhibitions that highlight the role of the photo book as medium of artistic expression. In the break-down of Ed van der Elsken‘s seminal book, Markus Schaden, Frederic Lezmi and Nina Poppe have carried out a study on the history of the influence, genesis, and editions of this exceptional photography book. “The exhibition does not display any vintage prints, white cubes or minimalist exhibition design” says Markus Schaden. The exhibition will be about the anatomy of this photo-novel, breaking down its structure and make-up by telling the story of how it was formed.  Notes and comments are scribbled with a white chalk in English and Turkish directly on the black wall.
PHOTOBOOKSTUDIES #1 is an exhibition organized by Markus Schaden, Nina Poppe and Frederic Lezmi. It is kindly supported by Anneke Hilhorst, Frits Gierstberg and Martijn van den Broek from the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam, Juliane Rückriem and Tamara Berghmans  © 2012,

Frederic Lezmi

Photobook Exhibition by Ed Van Der Elsken at Poligon

11 Apr - 11 May 2013