Marijke van Warmerdam, Film still from: Handstand, 1992 16 mm filmloop Courtesy Marijke van Warmerdam and Galerie van Gelder, Amsterdam
This exhibition is based on the idea of 'infatuations' that can affect both photographers and exhibition curators. People often suppose that museums make choices as objectively as possible, but actually this is far from from the truth. Just as an artist may feel physically and emotionally attracted to a particular subject, the collector or curator might also have a ‘crush’ on a certain work. The term ‘the infatuated camera’ comes from the title of a 1971 film by Ed van der Elsken, De Verliefde Camera, a compilation of travel clips previously filmed by him. This exhibition has been assembled in a similar way; photographs and film rushes from the present day contrast with excerpts and impressions from the previous century. Works have been seemingly casually arranged according to summery themes: hanging out, taking strolls, the intense experience of landscape, laid-back portraits in the park, or travel and being in transit.
Yet the choices are less arbitrary than they might seem. An experimental element can be found throughout the entire exhibition. Works from the museum’s own collection are presented directly alongside photographs from the H+F Collection and external loans. This enables us not only to experiment with the dynamics among the works themselves, but also to place works that we have been admiring over the past year in the context of the collection. After we first fall in love with a work, the best way for us to get to know it is to work with it.
Surprisingly enough, this approach revealed that portrait photographs are less strongly represented in the Huis Marseille collection than other subjects. Another striking discovery was that the theme of summer is, in fact, obviously present, even though no conscious effort was made to collect works on this theme during the past ten years. And it was a delight to see, not insignificantly, a common link among the famous and less familiar names: an intensity of observational power based on the imagination – the infatuated camera. For Huis Marseille this exhibition is a step towards the planned addition of Keizersgracht 399, as this expansion will allow us to show the museum’s permanent collection alongside, and even in combination with, temporary exhibitions.
Risaku Suzuki, Sakura 07, 4-93 2007 C-prints 120 x 155 cm Courtesy Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo, Japan
Toshio Enomoto, Cherry Tree Woods in Yoyogi Park after a Spring Storm, Tokyo, 1994 Gelatin silver print 40 x 50 cm Huis Marseille, Amsterdam Image courtesy Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, Amsterdam
Carmela García, Ofelia III, 2001 C-print 180 x 220 cm / Longterm loan H+F Collection
Rineke Dijkstra, Amoy Botanical Garden, Xiamen, April 23, 2006 C-print 152 x 178 cm Courtesy Rineke Dijkstra and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York