"I have to like the people I photograph. I need to feel an attraction, a fascination."
-- Bertien van Manen
"Buried deep in Bertien van Manen's images is an intimacy between photographer and subject. The viewer trespasses on the private moments in the frame, catching a glare over breakfast, unheard words between friends, both party to the action and intruding on it.
Between 1991 and 2009 van Manen travelled across Asia and Eastern Europe with a small, analogue camera, learning the local language and engaging with the people who would become the subject of this collection. Let's sit down before we go is a portrait of the places van Manen visited and the people she met, stayed with and became friends with during her travels across Russia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Siberia, Tatarstan and Uzbekistan. Across nearly two decades, with the exception of big cities, little about the scenery in van Manen's photographs has changed. The relative sameness of Russia's appearance binds the images together, leaving us no indication of the time lapse from one photograph to another.
The title, Let's sit down before we go represents an old Russian tradition, the practice of taking a moment, stopping to think before embarking on a journey, to consider where we will be travelling to and why.
Van Manen rolled into photography almost by accident, taking pictures of her children with an old camera. As her work became more public she was soon drafted into the world of fashion photography. In 1977 she tired of the industry, and on discovering the documentary photography of Robert Frank and Josef Koudelka, van Manen began to explore the developing relationship between herself and her subjects, keeping a closeness and developing a personal, organic style of photography."
Edited by Stephen Gill.
104 pages - Softcover
New - Mint condition
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Publisher's presentation : "In this new body of work, Beyond Maps and Atlases, Bertien van Manen turns to Ireland. Van Manen says, « At first, working in Ireland I wasn’t sure what I was looking for. My husband had died. I dispensed with the people and reflected on the atmosphere. I was guided by a feeling and a search, a longing for some kind of meaning...
Presentation by Mack: "Bertien van Manen’s blissful images of family holidays in den Eikenhorst (literally meaning Nest of Oak Trees) from the 1970s are the subject of her latest publication, Easter and Oak Trees. It was her son, one of the primary subjects in the series, who recently reminded van Manen of the archive. Lightness dominates these black and...
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