By Crash redaction
Provocative, rebellious, and above all com- mitted, Ed van der Elsken saw himself as a hunter of reality and authenticity, always hungry to capture real life in profoundly hu- man images.
In collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid, Jeu de Paume is giving this exceptional artist his first retrospective in France to look back at a diverse and exciting body of work, composed of over 150 original shots in black-and-white and color, film extracts, slideshows, and publications. Ed van der Elsken trekked through the streets of world cities like Paris, Tokyo, and his native Amsterdam on the hunt for those he referred to as “my kind of people”: marginal figures betraying a natural or bohemian beauty, who caught his attention and whom he of ten photographed in theatrical scenes designed to capture their true essence.
The exhibition takes us on a journey of dis- covery through the photographs he publi- shed in numerous books. From Love on the Left Bank to Bagara, his work includes raw images of youth captured in Paris after the Second World War, the daily rituals of Cen- tral African villages, Japanese cityscapes, and the marginal and dissident young people of Amsterdam. The retrospective also invites visitors to discover the Eye Love You and Tokyo Symphony slide shows compiled from his numerous color shots. It also features his documentary films tied to the Cinéma Vérité movement, such as Bye (1990), which takes a poignant look at the photographer’s own ailment. A unique personality in photography and cinema, Ed van der Elsken defies classi- fication with his transcendent work that ra- diates a limitless freedom.
With this unprecedented retrospective, Jeu de Paume enables audiences to discover all the complexity and rich variety of a body of work both stunning and poetic, modern and nonconformist, and occasionally erotic, all captured with a focus on technique and a drive to cross disciplines by Camera in Love.
Camera in Love, an Ed van der Elsken retrospective, will take place at Jeu de Paume from June 13 to September 24, 2017.