Under the influence of the sun, moon and wind, sea levels can sometimes rise much higher than normal. This is referred to as a spring tide. Willem van Zoetendaal sees this natural phenomenon as symbolising his encounter with the millions of negatives, contact sheets and prints in the Collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum. Anyone embarking on an exploration of this ocean of images will discover unexpected treasures, often throwing new light on the history of photography.
Exercising his expert eye for the beauties of photography, guest curator Willem van Zoetendaal will introduce us to over 200 photographs from the Collection in their original form: that is, directly printed from the negatives. Many of the photographs in the exhibition are well-known in cropped versions but are now being shown for the first time in their entirety. Van Zoetendaal demonstrates that a great deal of information about the photographer’s vision and approach can lie in precisely those apparently insignificant and casual details that cropping tends to eliminate.
Van Zoetendaal will reveal the continuing relevance of the photographs in the museum collection by complementing them with contemporary photographs. The combination produces unexpected links and parallels between past and present. For example, the fact that photographers - then as now - were attracted by motifs like solitary trees, moonlight or reflections in water.
From the Collection: Katharina Eleonore Behrend, Paul Citroen, Cobie Douma, Bernard F. Eilers, Wally Elenbaas, Ed van der Elsken, Kees Hana, Esther Kroon, Cas Oorthuys, Frits J. Rotgans, Paul Schuitema, Paul Steenhuizen, Richard Tepe and Piet Zwart.
Contemporary photographers: Céline van Balen, Ruth van Beek, Holger Niehaus, Arjan de Nooy, Diana Scherer, Otto Snoek and Harold Strak.
Willem van Zoetendaal
Willem van Zoetendaal (b. The Hague, 1950) is a graphic designer who now commissions, edits and publishes photographic books and guest curates exhibitions about photography. Between 2000 and 2014 he ran his own gallery, representing contemporary photographers like Céline van Balen, Koos Breukel and Harold Strak.
The exhibition is to be accompanied by a new book: Springvloed – Van Zoetendaal & De Collectie / Spring Tide – Van Zoetendaal & The Collection, edited by Willem van Zoetendaal, 2 x 106 pages, paperback, Japanese binding, format 16.5 x 23.4, bilingual (Eng/NL), € 29.50.