Around 1960, Ed van der Elsken assembled a photobook on the theme of feasts. Drawing from both old and new work, he produced a dazzling sequence of festive occasions: fun, celebration, dancing, music, fairs, carnivals, excitement and euphoria, but also drunkenness and exhaustion in the early hours. Van der Elsken combined his photographs into sparkling and rhythmical pairings, so that a genuine sense of joy emanates from the pages.
Nonetheless, for reasons unknown, the work was left on the shelf. Feest was, therefore, one of the great surprises in Van der Elsken’s archive when it was acquired by the Rijksmuseum and the Nederlands Fotomuseum in 2019. Now, 60 years after the photographer worked on the design with scissors and tape, this lively book is being published after all, in the intimate and compact format that he originally envisaged.
Ed van der Elsken (1925–90) began photographing in Holland in the late 1940s. In the 1950s he left Holland for Paris, where he encountered and documented the bohemian society of Saint-Germain-de-Prés, including the protagonists of the Lettrist and Situationist International. At the suggestion of Edward Steichen, whom van der Elsken met in Paris, he rendered these images as a photographic novel, Love on the Left Bank, which brought him instant fame. Van der Elsken went on to publish numerous books, including Bagara (1957), Jazz (1959), Sweet Life (1966), Eye Love You (1977), Amsterdam! (1979) and Once upon a Time (1981).
Published by Errata Editions. Text by Frits Gierstberg, Ed van der Elsken, Jeffrey Ladd.
In 1960, armed with two magazine commissions and a stipend from Netherlands television, Ed van der Elsken (1925–1990) and his wife Gerda set off on a fourteen-month journey around the world, from West Africa, the Malay Peninsula, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan to the United States and Mexico. Six years after their return, he published his travelogue Sweet Life (named after a little tramp steamer in the Philippines): a sprawling, exuberant chronicle of their journey and his encounters with a range of people in the streets, from joyous lovers to destitute down-and-outs. The book itself exhibited a panoply of layout effects: double-page bleeds, crops, printed in deep gravure, and different cover designs for each of the six countries in which it was published. This legendary Dutch photobook is presented here complete, with a contemporary essay by Frits Gierstberg.
Errata Editions' Books on Books series is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.
PUBLISHER Errata Editions
BOOK FORMAT Clth, 7 x 9.5 in. / 216 pgs / 120 duotone.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 10/31/2012 Out of print
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2012 p. 59
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9781935004257SDNR60 List Price: $39.95 CDN $53.95