Monday, January 17, 2011

Quatorze Juillet by Johan VAN DER KEUKEN

As a documentary filmmaker, author and photographer, the career of Johan van der Keuken indeed span over 4 decades. Van der Keuken was truly industrial (55 films and 9 books), and his work was highly acclaimed at many festivals throughout Europe and in the United States.

The image of Quatorze Juillet was shot in July 14, 1958 (Bastille Day) on the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris. Van der Keuken was 18 years old and attended the film school in Paris with a Dutch state scholarship (Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies, IDHEC). The vantage point of his camera was situated on the stage for the musician and successfully captured all people gathered for this parade in swirling movement. That also enables us to feel as if you were a part of the event, dancing, resting and chatting with the other participants and observing along with Keuken.

His wife, Noshka van der Lely, addressed in the end note that he was always intrigued by expanding possibilities of the images by arranging and reshuffling the original materials in various ways and his equal love for film making and photography. This book clearly attests his strong interest in making movement visible in still images and, thus, his juxtaposed position in both fields. His other photography books, "We are 17 (1955) ", "Behind Glass (1957)", "Paris Mortel (1963)" also testify and support his consistent/tenuous artistic stand point.

The one shot used for this books is the middle aged dancing couple, which was used for other his monographs, Paris Mortel (1963), Zien Kijken Filmen (1980), Abenteuer eines Auges (1987), L'Oeil Lucide (2001) and Aventures d'un regard (1998), After-Image (1991). The "Quatorze Juill" is a delightful publication which presents sheer ambition, intrigue and experiment of young van der Keuken.

Quatorze Juillet
Johan van der Keuken
Van Zoetendaal, 2010
ISBN 9789072532091

edition size 1,500 copies

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