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Welcome to my Blog!The lion roars!!!
I hope to share here my irrepressible thoughts on news, music, books, arts and such like. In general these will be items, events and issues which I feel have no place on my website (which focusses on aviation history and my travel photography).

The item immediately below this would be the latest posting.

Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to talk about himself. - Charles Baudelaire
Esse est percipi (To be is to be perceived) ¬Bishop George Berkeley

Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo

In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
The books can be ordered directly from the Blurb.com website or Amazon.




Best wishes for 2021



Christmas in Covid-19 pandemic lockdown




Il Romanza del Commissario Maltese

Il Romanza del Commissario Maltese
Elisa is a photographer in the era of film, handling a Leica M5 (probably) and a Fujica slr camera

This tv crime series was a no brainer for me! In my opinion the Italian language is the most beautiful language ones ears can receive and I love the Italian villages with the small streets and particular architecture.

So I set myself to watch Il Romanza del Commissario Maltese, 10 episodes. Excellent script, there is a murder mystery (with the mafia never far off), fraud, murder and romance!
The location is Trapani, a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy.

Commissario Dario Maltese (Kim Rossi Stuart) takes leave from his job in Rome for the wedding of a friend in Trapani, where they both spent their youth. Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy.
Instead of attending a wedding he attends the funeral of his friend Gianni and his fiancée.
Maltese returns to Rome but only to arrange a transfer to Trapani to solve the murder of his friend.

From various sources we learn that Trapani is firmly in the grasp of organised crime and he is fighting a loosing battle.
As a youth of 12 year old he and his mother left Trapani, after the death (suicide) of his father. He finds clues of crime and corruption that both Gianni and his father had been investigating.
There are people in government who work against him, for their participation and profits with organised crime. But his team and others offer strong support and so the investigation continues until each time this will lead to a blockade and they have to resort to another line of inquiry or resort to different measures.

Maltese met a woman, Elisa Ripstein (Rike Schmid), on the train to Trapani. She's a photographer returning to Trapani.
Elisa is in a relation with Mauro Licata (Francesco Scianna); they both work for a communist paper.
Maltese is divorced and his wife Kate and his daughter have moved to the USA.
The Atlantic divide weighs heavy on Maltese and his daughter Noa, and he is overjoyed when they visit Sicily accompanied by Noa's stepfather Sean - but it does not solve their problem of seperation.

The narrative sees drugs being smuggled, money being laundered, but also a confrontation between criminals. There are snitches, fake trails and witnesses being silenced.
Truly an excellent series and I hope for a series two...





Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning
Bureaucratics, photography by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

Bureaucratics, photobook by Jan Banning

A little bit further down this page I discussed Banning's 'Red Utopia', which made me look for 'Bureaucratics' on my blog - but could not find it. So I remedied this omission, for this book, this admirable project is worth the limelight!

'Bureaucratics' is a project consisting of a book and exhibition containing 50 photographs, the product of an anarchist’s heart, a historian’s mind and an artist’s eye.
It is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals and symbols of state civil administrations and its servants in 8 countries on 5 continents, selected on the basis of polical, historical and cultural considerations: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen.

In each country, Banning visited up to hundreds of offices of members of the executive in different services and at different levels. The visits were unannounced and the accompanying writer, Will Tinnemans, by interviewing kept the employees from tidying up or clearing the office. That way, the photos show what a local citizen would be confronted with when entering.

Jan Banning was born in The Netherlands in 1954, from Dutch-East-Indies immigrant parents. He studied social and economic history at the University of Nijmegen and has been working as a photographer since 1981. The central concern in his work is the theme of state power (and its abuse).




De Val van Amerika, door Michael Persson
Messages from a broken land

What does the future of the US look like?
Journalist Michael Persson traveled to find answers through a country, shortly before the 2020 elections, which is struggling with crises in which it is becoming increasingly entangled.

When the Volkskrant journalist Michael Persson moved to the US in August 2015, Donald Trump had come down from an escalator just a month earlier. He said what no presidential candidate would have dared say before him: America, the chosen country, has become a 3rd world country.

Trump promised to make the US great again ('MAGA'), but instead fuelled a firestorm which enlarged
the already notably division among the US cisitizens.
His presidency has exposed even more weaknesses and fault lines. Education, health care, industry, infrastructure, immigration, segregation and democracy: in all these areas, the country falls in the international rankings, much to the concern of most Americans. But they differ enormously on the solutions, and politics cannot reach an agreement.
The country seems to become increasingly entangled in itself, no longer the undisputed world leader, its long nurtured 'exceptionalism' a joke.

Persson traveled across the country to investigate.
From divided Washington to the wall on the border with Mexico. From the old industries of West Virginia to the farmers of Wisconsin. And from Charlottesville to the homeless of Queens.
Everywhere he asked the question: what next with America?
The result is a fascinating book that looks far beyond Trump, to the future of the country so many once dreamed of, and where despite everything, thanks to the resilience of individual Americans, there is still room for optimism.

geschiedenis-winkel.nl/p/de-val-van-amerika/ (NL)



Red Utopia by Jan Banning
Subtitle: Communisme, 100 years after the Russian Revolution

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Red Utopia by Jan Banning

Like the book discussed below, this is another exception of my desinterest in portrait photography: Jan Banning's work and here 'Red Utopia' in particular.
I enjoyed Banning's photography exhibition in The Hague, his first retrospective, on display in the Museum of Photography, discussed on MyBlog-2018Q2.
Just like his book 'Bureaucratics' (a 2003-2007 project, for which he photographed public officials in 8 countries) the person(s) are set in an all-telling environment. Not all photos in Red Utopia consern people, there are also (faded) symbols, artifacts, posters, congregation halls fit for a ten fold of people appearing now.

I admire photographers who go through such length to complete a project based on a theme or some kind of inspiration.

Jan Banning is a Dutch autonomous artist/photographer, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He was born in Almelo (Netherlands) on 04May1954, from Dutch East Indies parents, and he studied social and economic history at the Radboud University of Nijmegen. Both of these facts have had a strong influence on his photographic works.
His academic education is expressed in his aim to achieve sound intellectual foundations for his self-initiated projects on the basis of a thorough preliminary investigation.

No two modern communist parties are the same.
In Nepal, the comrades look purposeful and united, glamorous despite their woolly hats.
In Italy, the insistent sun gives them the air of drinkers in a rural bar with an eccentric owner.
The reds of the Indian state of Kerala carry themselves with a distinctive authority.
The Portuguese communists have an anarchic energy, a bit of versatility, as if they could be plotting a revolution, or opposing fracking.
The Russians have a complicated, mournful alertness.

Banning's photo series have been published in print media such as Days Japan, GEO (France, Germany, and International), l’Espresso, Newsweek (US and Japan), One World, Sunday Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Guardian Weekend, Time, Vrij Nederland and many others.
Aside from Dutch, Banning is fluent in English, German and Spanish, and speaks French reasonably well. He is living in the Dutch city of Utrecht.

Over 60 large size photographs.
The format of this book is grand: Format: 280 x 370 mm | 11 x 14.5 inch

www.theguardian.com - 2017 review



MOODS/MODE by A Corbijn
MOØDs by Anton Corbijn

MOODS/MODE by A Corbijn

MOODS/MODE by A Corbijn

MOODS/MODE by A Corbijn

MOODS/MODE by A Corbijn

Portrait photos are generally speaking not my thing, esspecially the head shots. But Corbijn has his distinct style in making them exceptional and powerful.

In MOOD/MODE, international photographer (and filmmaker) Anton Corbijn presents images from his extensive body of work in which he explores the crossover between photography and the world of fashion - in the broadest sense of the word.

Corbijn's portraits of figures such as Johnny Cash, Alexander McQueen, Tom Waits, Kate Moss, David Bowie and Clint Eastwood have now achieved iconic status. As visual director behind Depeche Mode and through his decades-long collaboration with U2 and others, he has made his mark in the way we look at an important aspect of contemporary culture.
Quite a number of images will make you think: "how did he get away with this"?

Anton wrote the introductory, about his roots, his upbringing, his way into photography. He speaks of his admiration for fashion photographers such as Irving Penn, Nick Knight, Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi and Helmut Newton. But he emphasizes he is a portrait photographer who occasionally visit the fashion world.
Karen van Godtsenhoven also wrote an essay in this book, about Corbijn's style in fashion photography: the mood of La Mode. Her text is based on an interview with Corbijn in January 2020.

Generally my focus has been on people who make things, whether it's writers or directors or painters or musicians. ¬Anton Corbijn

MOOD/MODE contains some 200 photographs, many of them published for the first time.
Its world premiere was in Knokke-Heist, summer 2020. Yes, the Covid-19 'Corona' summer! Glad there were good things happening too.

Anton Johannes Gerrit Corbijn van Willenswaard was born on 20May55 in Strijen in the Netherlands, where his father had been appointed as parson to the Dutch Reformed Church the previous year.
Corbijn began his career as a music photographer when he saw the Dutch musician Herman Brood playing in a café in Groningen around 1975.
From the late 1970s the London-based New Musical Express (NME), a weekly music paper, featured his work on a regular basis and would often have a photograph by him on the front page.

From then on it was upward and onward, photographing 'all the greats', made his name in film & video, including the character-based thriller 'The American', starring George Clooney and the film 'A Most Wanted Man', the John le Carré novel of the same name.

From Godtsenhoven's essay: 'For someone who only switched to digital photography in 2018, always preferring the magic of the dark room above digital settings, the new medium is almost too perfect. Corbijn likes ímperfection, spontaneity, simplicity and aesthetics', but it's that same simplicity that
makes photopgraphy today a 'throwaway' medium, something he fights against.'
Analog is more beautiful than digital, really, but we go for comfort. ¬Anton Corbijn (probably a quote from before he switched to using a digital camera too).

Superb photography, a wonderful photobook!

www.bookdepository.com/MOOD-MODE Anton-Corbijn



Icarus by Deon Meyer

'Icarus' features one of Deon Meyer's regulars, Captain Benny Griessel of the Hawks (as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations is widely known as).
Aged 46, he's actually in a stable relationship with Alexa Barnard – but when confronted with the violent death of a former colleague he falls off the wagon. Both he and Alexa are recovering alcoholics, and his return to the booze puts their relationship under strain.

Benny's colleague Vaughn Cupido is made the leading investigator (JOC) in the murder inquiry regarding the young entrepreneur Ernst Richter, found wrapped in plastics in a shallow grave.
We have 3 plotlines- one from Benny’s point of view regarding the inquiry and trying to handle his drinking problem, one from Cupido’s point of view regarding his new role as a police team leader plus his feelings for an attractive (white) woman in Alibi's management team and there is a 3rd plotline: one Francois du Toit, owner of Kleine Zegen, a wine farm, baring his heart and soul to Advocate Susan Peires.

Ernst Richter ran a company called Alibi, an apparently successful internet-start-up membership service that provided 'alibis' for clients when, for example, they wanted to cheat on their spouses: from fake restaurant and hotel bills to more elaborate ones.
With some clients having apparently been blackmailed, and a hacker now threatening to reveal the full member list, any number of people had good reason to be very displeased with Richter.
Alibi's clientele also numbered some high placed persons.

The timelines of the narratives are not concurrent, the Richter-story taking a while to catch up with Du Toit’s consult with lawyer Peires. He thinks he needs a lawyer, as “.. it's connected to the murder of Ernst Richter."

Particularly compelling is the slow discovery of who Richter really was, as the police put together the pieces and follow the leads, as well as the clearer picture that emerges of Alibi: Richter had been cooking the books and the investors have threatened to walk out on him.

Icarus is yet again a very satisfying Meyer novel, the 5th Benny Griessel novel.

www.complete-review.com/- - -/meyer (M.A.Orthofer, 17Oct2015)



  1. Has China Won? by Kishore Mahbubani
    Subtitled: The Chinese Challenge to American Primacy
    (Dutch title: 'Heeft China al gewonnen?')

Behind “Has China Won?” (which it hasn’t) lurks a more important question: “Can America lose?”
This question seems inconceivable. A young republic, barely 250 years old and seemingly in decline, with one quarter the population of China, is struggling in its relation with the world’s oldest and most resilient civilization.

While we are nearing the end of the Donald Trump Admistration in the US, we find that a long-term strategy, such as against the once-mighty Soviet Union, is missing for China. Which is one of the mistakes the US is making.

Mahbubani offers an excellent insight into the declining well-being of the economy and society in the United States. While in China we see growth and increasing well-being..
One factor of importance is the outdated way of thinking in the US, which also results in the enormous ever increasing budget for the military, for maintaining its world dominance and wars abroad. China spends much less on military growth, has no military wars and thus can invest much more in its economy, infrastructure and geopolitics.

Mahbubani (a.o.) tackles a few myths, as misconceptions effecting strategies and international relations.
China and the US have made and will make mistakes. It seems China learns faster from its mistakes.

The book serves as a great insight into ways of thinking on both sides as well as their role and relations in the world.
Equally importantly in our shrinking, interconnected and interdependent planet, America and China also share common national interests in fighting pressing common global challenges (like Covid-19 or climate change).
Both would benefit from greater cooperation.

Kishore Mahbubani (b.24Oct1948) is a Singaporean civil servant, a career diplomat and an academic.
During his stint at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1971 to 2004, he served as Singapore's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and held the position of President of the United Nations Security Council between January 2001 and May 2002.
Between 2004 and 2017, he served as Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore.
After stepping down, he served as a Senior Advisor at NUS during a nine-month sabbatical at various universities, including Harvard University's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Asia Research Institute.
In 2019, Mahbubani was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

'Has China Won?' is one of those 5-star books one reads once a year at most.




The days before Christmas, during lockdown
'Probeer Drukte Te Vermijden' (EN: 'Try To Avoid Crowds')

Inspired by Edward Hopper's NIGHTHAWKS
Inspired by Hopper's Nighthawks
Even on the (almost) deserted streets there are moments for street photography!
My streetphotography B&W and streetphotography Colour



'414' by William Eggleston - photobook
Harmony Korine and Juergen Teller: 'William Eggleston 414' (Steidl)

'414' by William Eggleston - photobook

'414' by William Eggleston - photobook

'414' by William Eggleston - photobook

'414' by William Eggleston - photobook

This book '414' by photographer William Eggleston and associates Harmony Korine and Juergen Teller was published by Steidl in 2020. When I saw it appear on an advertisement I was quick to purchase it: affordable photobooks by William Eggleston are thin on the ground!
After the purchase I found out I was wrong about the title as wells as the photographer(s).

William Eggleston (b.27Jul1939) is an American photographer. He is widely credited with increasing recognition for color photography as a legitimate artistic medium.
He was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Sumner, Mississippi. His father was an engineer and his mother was the daughter of a prominent local judge.

His interest in photography took root when a friend at Vanderbilt University gave Eggleston a Leica camera. He was introduced to abstract expressionism at Ole Miss by visiting painter Tom Young.
Eggleston's early photographic efforts were inspired by the work of Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank, and by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's book, The Decisive Moment.

Eggleston began experimenting with color in 1965 and 1966 after being introduced to the format by William Christenberry. Color transparency film became his dominant medium in the later 1960s. Eggleston's development as a photographer seems to have taken place in relative isolation from other artists. In an interview, John Szarkowski describes his first encounter with the young Eggleston in 1969 as being "absolutely out of the blue".

Eggleston taught at Harvard in 1973 and 1974, and it was during these years that he discovered dye-transfer printing.
"Every photograph I subsequently printed with the process seemed fantastic and each one seemed better than the previous one."
At Harvard, Eggleston prepared his first portfolio, entitled 14 Pictures (1974). Eggleston's work was exhibited at MoMA in 1976.

Eggleston's published books and portfolios include Los Alamos (completed in 1974, but published much later), William Eggleston's Guide (the catalog of the 1976 MoMa exhibit), the massive Election Eve (1977; a portfolio of photographs taken around Plains, Georgia, the rural seat of Jimmy Carter before the 1976 presidential election), The Morals of Vision (1978), Flowers (1978), Wedgwood Blue (1979), Seven (1979), Troubled Waters (1980), The Louisiana Project (1980), William Eggleston's Graceland (1984; a series of commissioned photographs of Elvis Presley's Graceland, depicting the singer's home as an airless, windowless tomb in custom-made bad taste),[6] The Democratic Forest (1989), Faulkner's Mississippi (1990), and Ancient and Modern (1992).
Some of his early series were not shown until the late 2000s.

Eggleston's mature work is characterized by its ordinary subject-matter.
This book 'William Eggleston 414' sees photos taken by (what I thought) all three of them in 2010, and all in color.
On another revies I read that none of the pictures came from Eggleston's camera, though they look like they could have. We do see Eggleston sitting in the back of the car, holding a camera, and a number of photograps have the tilt to the left when you photograph from the car; so I thought Eggleston contributed photos as well. But apparently not.

Korine is a filmmaker (behind some controversial films, allegedly) and Teller is a photographer whose high-key snapshot aesthetic has helped define fashion advertising over the same period.
The three of them set out on a roadtrip from Memphis down into Mississippi, also visiting the grave of Eggleston's mother.
In '414' each adopt their host's eye for macabre Americana. The pair, Korine and Teller, train their lenses on abandoned gas stations and unexpected pops of commercial color in the drab winter landscape.
Eggleston’s son Winston is featured on a photo, but he is not specifically identified.
None of the photos are identified for its location nor its photographer.

"We drove around for days. Miles and miles of dead barren cotton wool land, depressing countryside and abandoned towns. I asked Bill, 'Where are we going? Where the fuck are you taking us?' He replied laughing, 'I wanted to show you nothing."-Juergen Teller.

The frontcover of 'William Eggleston 414' is a room door. A closed door. We learn very little of Eggleston nor of the friendship of the three though the book shows a warm camaraderie shared on a roadtrip 'to nothing'.
I was quite impressed, but with all art: it isn't for everybody.

americansuburbx.com/2020/ -- william-eggleston-414



Nederland Onder Het Systeemplafond | Marcel van Roosmalen & Jan Dirk van der Burg

Nederland Onder Het Systeemplafond by Marcel van Roosmalen (author) & Jan Dirk van der Burg (photographer) should probably be sold with a health warning: 'The content could be found addictive!'

No writer knows how to report so well on what is going on in the depths of Dutch society. Marcel van Roosmalen knows in a very observant tone what touches and moves the Dutchman in his columns on radio and television, as well as his stories and reports published in newspapers, magazines and books.

For this book which would translate as 'Netherlands under the system ceiling' (office ceiling tiles, a more than common and utterly boring phenomenon), Marcel van Roosmalen has travelled the Netherlands for years to visit meetings and report on them everywhere.
Since he does not have a driving licence, he found someone who does have a car and a driving licence. Fortunately, he has found the ideal partner in photographer Jan Dirk van der Burg, but while he does have a car, a somewhat vintage Fiat Panda, it is a vehicle Van Roosmalen has a creepy feeling of ineptitude in.
Jan Dirk van der Burg has been named 'National Photographer of the Year for The Netherlands' and his photography mirrors the humor of the book's content.
So in their modest transport the two men travel to all corners of the country, to report on meetings that took place without exception under these universal and dull office ceiling tiles.

Marcel van Roosmalen literally reports on what people have to say during the meetings he attends and to paint a picture of what he perceives. But by opting for an almost literal representation of what he sees and perceives, it is impossible to escape the dryly comedy of the meetings.
He does not ridicule anybody, does not shame anyone, but his unique sort of humor sets people and customs apart in a very funny way. And we can all recognize bits and pieces of ourselves, our common livelyhoods.

This has been the 3rd book I've read by Van Roosmalen, another compilation of his columns (he has also written biographies, has done theatre performances), all noteworthy for his dry wit. Too funny.

nl.wikipedia.org:_Marcel_van_Roosmalen (NL)



Antigone 34

Antigone 34 - tv-series crime fiction French

Set in Antigone, an area in the city of Montpellier. 'Antigone 34' is the street adress of the police station police detective Léa Hippolyte works from.
She solves crimes with the help of her two unconventional friends, psychologist Hélène de Soyère and doctor Victor Carlier. She is also assisted by two regular police detectives.
Both the start and the ending I found ' incomplete'. And the narrative itself wasn't much better.
Certainly not of the same quality of the best of French crime series, Spiral (Engrenages). Braquo was also much better, as well as Les Témoins, to name but a few.

A few details of this 6-episodes series. Captain Lea Hippolyte returns to work and we learn that her partner had killed himself. She rejects help from psychologist Hélène de Soyère but asks for her help in a few subsequent cases.
She meets Victor Carlier who has completed a prison sentence of 10 years for murdering his wife. He continues to claim his innocence and suspects a former friend and entrepeneur by the name of Prudhomme to have played a role in the death of his wife. Allegedly Prudhomme had an affair with Victor's wife and she may have known too much of his shady dealings.
Also Victor's young daughter has died, on the campus probably due to an accident.
But two detectives, who always work as a pair and also from Antigone 34, were reported first on the scene. The police report in the archive seems to have been editted and falsified, Léa finds. She thinks Perez and his partner are crooked but her superior dismisses her allegations.
Her first partner is run over but survives; the second partner sleeps with a (beautiful) witness. Both are under constant ridicule by Perez and his mate.
There is very little character development, even of Léa; she seems to have been casted for her almost male stare. She frequently practises in the middle of a giant but abandoned hall on a punching bag; we get no background why this cannot be done in a regular gym and if there is a trauma that she wants to get rid off.

Victor isn't allowed to work as a surgeon anymore, but does his good deeds in an abandoned building and in a Roma community; we learn a little about him, but he wears the same dead stare through all 6 episodes.
I don't mind to think for my own while the narrative develops, but one cannot connect the dots if the dots are spaced too far apart!  I felt a series of 12 episodes was cut down to 6...

There has obviously been made an attempt to film in a sort of fast-pacing way but the blur, shake and fast non-factual street shots totally misses the point, is overdone and simply quite irritating.
Also I don't mind open endings, but almost all narratives have no ending after the 6 episodes.
My advise: avoid spending time on this series.




Pier to Pier, Giedo van der Zwan (streetphotography)
Brilliant stuff, right?

Pier to Pier, Giedo van der Zwan (streetphotography)

Pier to Pier, Giedo van der Zwan (streetphotography)

Pier to Pier, Giedo van der Zwan (streetphotography)

Sharp & absurd.
Giedo van der Zwan focusses his lens on unsuspecting day trippers, which results in intriguing and sometimes absurd images.
(Giedo (b.1967) prefers to get as close to the seaside visitors as possible. He uses flash to bring out every detail.
It immediately reminded me of photography by Martin Parr.

Pier to Pier is a photobook for Scheveningers and for everyone who loves who loves this seaside resort Scheveningen. But also for anyone who enjoys beautiful photography.
Because the book is full of large, beautiful colorful images of the people enjoying the spacious beach, the modern boulevard and the renovated Pier.

Giedo van der Zwan is from Schevening himself. He heard the stories of the former fishing village from his grandfather, who once had a fish shop there. And from his father who grew up there.
Through the eyes of the photographer we see a dynamic and colourful seaside resort where people enjoy carefree.
Really excellent work.

www.paagman.nl/ - - - /pier-to-pier-door-giedo-van-der-zwan



Scheveningen, streetphotography by Sandra Uitenbogaart

Scheveningen, streetphotography by Sandra Uitenbogaart

Scheveningen, streetphotography by Sandra Uitenbogaart

Scheveningen, streetphotography by Sandra Uitenbogaart

Harmonious & Still.
Sandra (b.1975) unobrusively explores the world of the coast through her lens. She consistently elevates the everyday into rythmic compositions in which line and colour are in harmony.
A photographer sometimes has to wait a long time for the perfect moment to come along, but it pays off
as this book of hers shows.

The book is dedicated to a Dutch seaside resort, Scheveningen, which celebrated its 200 anniversary in 2018.
Hardcover photobook (22x22 cm), 60 pages.




Naturalis @Leiden

The Cape Lion was a Panthera leo melanochaita population in South Africa's Natal and Cape Provinces that was extirpated in the mid-19th century.
The type specimen originated at the Cape of Good Hope and was described in 1842.

Naturalists and hunters recognised the Cape Lion as a distinct subspecies because of this dark mane colour.
Results of phylogeographic studies support the notion of lions in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa being genetically close.
Based on the analysis of 357 lion samples from 10 countries, it is thought that lions migrated from Southern to East Africa during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Analysis of 194 lion samples from 22 different countries suggest that populations in Southern and East Africa are distinct from populations in West and North Africa and Asia.

I was also told that the Cape Lion had a slightly elongated neck and that the lions in the national emblem 'Je Maintiendrai' are Cape Lions.
Cape Lions (extinct) on Je Maintiendrai

Naturalis @Leiden
The mammoth

Naturalis @Leiden

Naturalis @Leiden
Introducing: 'Trix'

The Tyrannosaurus is a genus of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaur.
The species Tyrannosaurus rex ('rex' meaning 'king' in Latin), often called T. rex or colloquially T-Rex, is one of the most well-represented of the large theropods.[Wikipedia]

Naturalis @Leiden

Naturalis @Leiden

Naturalis is the Dutch national research institute for biodiversity. It is located in Leiden.
With one of the largest natural history collections in the world, their labs and biodiversity data have on offer a unique scientific infrastructure: a veritable time machine that enables scientists to map the biological and geological diversity of the past, present and future.
Scientific biodiversity research is fundamental to the protection of the natural riches of our Earth.
For a limited time, due to the 200th anniversary of Naturalis, very rare items on display which normally are not taken out of the depot.

The beginnings of Naturalis go back to the creation of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie (abbreviated RMNH, National Museum of Natural History) by Dutch King William I on 09Aug1820.
In 1878, the geological and mineralogical collections of the museum were split off into a separate museum, remaining distinct until the merger of the Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Historie with the Rijksmuseum van Geologie en Mineralogie (abbreviated RGM) in 1984, to form the Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum (NNM) or National Museum of Natural History.

In 1986, it was decided that the institution should become a public museum, and a new building was designed by the Dutch architect Fons Verheijen.
The building's reception area incorporated the 1657-1661 Pesthuis (house of the plague) designed by Huybert Corneliszoon van Duyvenvlucht.
Completed in 1998, it was opened on 07Apr1998 by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

In 2010 the National Museum of Natural History (Naturalis) further combined with the Zoological Museum Amsterdam (ZMA) of the University of Amsterdam, and the Dutch National Herbaria at the universities of Leiden, Amsterdam and Wageningen, to form the Nederlands Centrum voor Biodiversiteit (NCB Naturalis).
In 2012 the name became the Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

We visited this museum a little while back, before the 'smart lockdown' got tightened further and a.o. museums had to close in an attempt to stem the Covid-19 pandemic.
I can't say I agree with closing libraries, museums, zoo's and such, for they all have proper measures in place to keep 1.5m distance and people adhere to the obligation to wear masks.
Hopefully this will be over soon.

More photos on flickr.com



Thin Ice, tv-series, ecothriller

A Swedish research vessel disappears in the waters off Greenland. Members of the Arctic Circle meet in Tasiilaq, a town in southeastern Greenland, to sign an environmentally important treaty.
This is the start of an interesting eco narrative (now or never to save the planet!) against a criminal plot and both commercial- as well as national interests.

The research vessel is found but the crew is gone, abducted by a commando unit of unknown origin.
This becomes known when Liv Hermanson (Bianca Kronlöf) skypes from home with her partner Viktor Baker (Alexander Karim, from The Lawyer), who had just landed on the research vessel. They talk about Liv's pregnancy (in early stages), fight over names for a boy or a girl, when they are interrupted by gunfire on deck.
Liv, an agent of SAPÖ, hops a privat flight to Tasiilaq with the owner of the research vessel.

In Tasiilaq the hijacking of the ship starts an investigation, headed by Katarina (Iben Dorner) who is flown in for the international implications. This sits not well with the head of police there, Enok (Angunnguaq Larsen) and his deputy.
Then killings and sabotage of the communication tower happen, which also creates conflict and chaos with the Arctic Circle committee headed by the Danish Minister of Foreign Affair, Martin Overgaard (Nicolas Bro). They all thought it would be a quick signing of the treaty, some formalities and photo ops - except Russia disagrees and starts to stir up trouble.

It is soon found that the Swedish research vessel had stumbled on another research party (Russians?), both without proper permits for the particular area and deemed to be the largest remaining oil reserve on the planet.
So now we have commercial interests for exploiting this oil reserve against reducing the planet's dependancy on fossil fuels and the resulting global warming. The latter is the holy grail for Elsa Engström (Lena Endre, of Wallander, Millennium and Acquitted).
Another motive is Greenland's ambition to become independent from Denmark, for their national pride and a proper future for the younger generation.

Russia blackmails the chairman Martin with information of his extramarital affair, to cease the signing of the treaty and send everybody home for lack of safety and developments.
Elsa is found to have had previous employment with Ville Berger (Reine Brynolfsson), the Swedish ship's owner. There is also news that her adopted African daughters have been stolen from the biological mother, resulting in lack of trust for her by the Swedish government.
Liv is conducting her own inquiries to rescue Viktor, but is isolated by Katerina and her own SAPÖ superiors who never sanctioned her travel to Greenland.
Enak has trouble at home, with his wife Ina (Nukâka) falling off the wagon and unable to take responsible carefor their daughter Aaya (lovely role by Julie Ella Eigaard).

The backdrop of snowy Greenland is amazing, actors of Greenland speaking their own language ads to the realistic feel, the problems global warming are made crystal clear, the crime plot entertaing and well developed, there's plenty of drama but with refreshing twists and a good, realistic ending.
Five star series!




't Huys te Warmont (Warmond)

'Het Huis te Warmond' (Old Dutch spelling: ' 't Huys te Warmont') is a castle-like building on the edge of the South Holland Warmond.
Although it dates back to the Middle Ages, in its current form it is a late 18th century. It was once inhabited by the lords of the high lord of Warmond.
The house is now privately occupied and is not open to the public. But the estate is.

nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huys_te_Warmont (NL)
Photos on Flickr.com



Panorama van Mesdag | View on Scheveningen

Panorama van Mesdag | View on Scheveningen

I visited the Museum Panorama Mesdag for a photo exhibition but could not ignore the name giving painting of this museum: panorama on the city and beach of Scheveningen by the painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag (and his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten).
Truly astounding, the word 'masterpiece' is much overused but is quite fitting here!

Housed in a purpose-built museum in The Hague, the panorama is a cylindrical painting (also known as a Cyclorama) more than 14 metres high and about 40 metres in diameter (120 metres in circumference). From an observation gallery in the centre of the room the cylindrical perspective creates the illusion that the viewer is on a high sand dune overlooking the sea, beaches and village of Scheveningen in the late 19th century. A foreground of fake terrain around the viewing gallery hides the base of the painting and makes the illusion more convincing.

My photos date from over a week ago, and a word of warning as the museums are about to close in a tightening of the 'light lockdown', so make sure the museum is open before you travel to The Hague. A
visit can certainly be recommended.

More photos on Flickr.com



Candid - streetphotography

Candid - streetphotography

Candid - streetphotography

Museum Panorama Mesdag presents a selection of over 70 photos of contemporary beach life from a
non-commonplace perspective, in the exhibition CANDID.
The photos were commissioned by the museum from four up-and-coming photographers from The Hague that have started a collective on this occasion: Giedo van der Zwan (1967), Mirjam Rosa (1982), Merel Schoneveld (1983) and Sandra Uittenbogaart (1975).
Together they created a portrait of contemporary beach life, that became nostalgic sooner than expected. The exhibition CANDID is on show until 28 February 2021 in The Hague.

The photography of Giedo van der Zwan reminded me of Martin Parr's photography. Excellent work.

The CANDID collective-
The diversity of the seaside resort is the common denominator of the collective. As a result, the photographers challenge and inspire each other.
Ordinary people are captured in everyday situations against the backdrop of the familiar seaside resort, but they appear to be anything but ordinary.
The artists do not stage-manage nor pass judgement; their photos are self-explanatory, honest, and authentic. In other words: they are CANDID.

My photos date from a while ago, I could not find the time to publish the photos closer to the date. Museums will close tomorrow or soon after for a more severe lockdown, but when they reopen I recommend a visit here in The Hague.




Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)
'PhotoGraphics' by Sam Haskins

Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)

Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)

Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)

Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)

Sam Haskins, photographer (1926-2009)

Samuel Joseph Haskins (b.11Nov1926 – d.26Nov2009), was a British photographer, born Kroonstad (Orange Freestate) and raised in South Africa.
He started his career in Johannesburg and moved to London in 1968.
Haskins is best known for his contribution to in-camera image montage, and his books, 'Five Girls' (book; 1962), 'Cowboy Kate' (1964) and 'Haskins Posters'(1973). I remember that he was often published in popular photo magazines.

My photography started as a plane spotter, during my schooldays. Gradually my interest expanded during the 1970s beyond military aeroplanes, by work of David Bailey, Bob Carlos Clarke, Ansel Adams, Uwe Ommer and Sam Haskins.
Although my budget was small, I started collecting photobooks as well.
The focus of my photography shifted over the years and continues to do so. I have been inspired by Sam Haskins in terms of multiple exposures in one photograph, when I printed my (B&W) photos. For a few years I also practised model photography, but that gets rather expensive.

Haskins' early creative influences were fueled by an interest in magic tricks, kite making, drawing and the circus.
He was a talented athlete: as a teenager he excelled at hurdling and trained with a circus, resulting in a job offer as a trapeze catcher!
His formal higher education was at the Johannesburg Technical College 1945–1948, where he did a general arts course followed by a part-time photographic module. Between 1949 and 1951, he studied at the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts in Bolt Court, later renamed the London College of Printing, and now the London College of Communication.

Haskins started his career as an advertising photographer in Johannesburg in 1953.
He ran what was probably the first modern freelance advertising studio in Africa. He produced commercial work across a very broad spectrum of photography from still life to industrial, fashion and aerial.
Haskins married Alida Elzabe van Heerden in 1952 and they had two sons;she gave up a career in fashion soon after their marriage to become Haskins' business partner. She played a key role in the launch of his career by acting as a publishing agent for Five Girls when he was still an unknown photographer.

Haskins suffered a stroke on 19Sep2009, the opening day of his exhibition to launch Fashion Etcetera at Milk Gallery in New York; he died at home in Bowral, Australia, 9 weeks later.
Alida died in 2012; Haskins' artistic estate is now owned and managed by his son Ludwig.




The Ice Child by Camilla Lackberg

A partially dressed teenage girl wanders blindly through the snowy January woods, observed by a woman on horseback. When she finally reaches the road, a car coming from nowhere has no time to stop.
Detective Patrik Hedström and his team are in shock following the post-mortem examination. The victim Victoria Hallberg's injuries are the most horrendous result of 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' treatment.
The girl had vanished 4 months earlier, and the police realise that the disappearance of 3 other girls from nearby towns might be connected.
The police is unable to connect the girls or the locations to establish a motive or a suspect.

Lackberg weaves many plotlines to a surprising ending. The narrative proceeds step by step, developments we follow by the considerations of many: Patrik muses about his wife's intrusions in the investigation, about his superior's idleness, the stress for handling this emotional laden investigation, his feelings for his family.
Erica is probably the main protagonist, but she shares an equal amount of narrative with others: about lack of progress of her book a mysterious murder conviction, because the convicted perpetrator, Laila, refuses to talk to her about the tragic events.
Meanwhile, Erica is worried about her sister (whoms doubts about her marriage we also follow).
We follow the narrative from both Jonas, a vet, and his wife Marta, who trains teenage girls in horse riding from their stable; their daughter Molly is one of the girls and rides competitively. And we follow the thoughts of both of Jonas' parents too...
A storyline about a guy named Lasse ends inclonclusively. A policewoman recovering (?) at home diverts to the policestation for research, but mainly to get some rests from her noisy kids; this plotlines dries up too, after having delivered an early clue. The narrative of Erica's sister also serves only to muddle the story, perhaps because she played a more important role in a previous book?

I thought there were too many narratives, too ambitious in making things vague and complicated. The plot is excellent though.

Publication Order of Fjällbacka Books
The Ice Princess (2004)
The Preacher (2004)
The Stonecutter (2005)
The Gallows Bird / The Stranger (2006)
The Hidden Child (2007)
The Drowning (2008)
The Lost Boy (2009)
Buried Angels (2011)
The Ice Child (2014)
The Girl In The Woods (2017)




Borkenwood Mysteries - season 2

The Brokenwood Mysteries is a New Zealand detective, drama television series that premiered on Prime in 2014. The programme is set in the fictitious New Zealand town of Brokenwood and was filmed in the greater Auckland region. Tim Balme conceived the series and is lead writer with Philip Dalkin, James Griffin and Greg McGee.
The cast includes Neill Rea as Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (also adressed as 'senior') and Fern Sutherland as Detective Kristin Sims; they have a nice chemistry going.
Pana Hema Taylor plays Jared Morehu, Shepherd's Māori neighbour, Nic Sampson is Detective Constable Sam Breen and Cristina Ionda as Dr. Gina Kadinsky, medical examiner.

This 2nd series I recently watched was as good as the first series: a good plotline and fast & funny interchanges between the main characters.

The first episode has a remarkable start: The coach of the rugby team is found dead, strapped naked to a goal post...
Next is a cast member in The Brokenwood Theatre Society's production of Hamlet collapses and dies on stage.
And when a severed human hand is discovered in a crayfisherman's catch, Shepherd and his team need to discover whose it is and whether its owner is still alive.
The 4th episode has Shepherd's tatste for country music central: a touring musician is found electrocuted in what initially looks to be a suicide.

The series is a pleasure to watch.

www.imdb.com/.../ - season=2
See also MyBlog-2020Q2 and MyBlog-2021Q2



Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)
'National Tree Museum Gimborn'

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)
'Ode to Nature' - ceramic exhibition outside in the arboretum

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)

Nationaal Bomenmuseum Gimborn (Doorn)
The founder: German ink manufacturer Max Th. Von Gimborn (1872–1964), and his wife

The National Tree Museum Gimborn in Doorn has a world-famous collection of trees and shrubs from all parts of the world.
They have been collected over many years for scientific research on expeditions or swapped as seed with other arboretums or botanical gardens. Some plants are very rare.
The Tree Museum tries to preserve these plants for the future for the public and science.

Max von Gimborn liked conifers and evergreen shrubs (e.g. Rhododendron). Thus he laid the foundation of the current collection between 1924 and his death in 1964.

From 1966, under the banner of Utrecht University (the new owner), the collection was transformed for more scientific purposes, whereby wild collected plants (or from seed) became more important.
The collection gained world fame and this was emphesized by a special medal of honor awarded by the International Dendrology Society in 1989.
The collection now contains about 3.000 different trees, shrub species and cultivars divided over approximately 10,000 accessions (specimens).

For the 4th time, the Dutch Department of Ceramics (NVK) and the Tree Museum are organizing a ceramic exhibition outside in the arboretum.
The nearly 50 participating artists show recent work - often specially made for this exhibition - under the motto 'Ode to Nature'. The images can be found in and under the trees, in the heather garden, in the grass and on and in the water.



Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

Militairy Tradition Museum @Driebergen #MMT

This museum dedicated to Dutch militairy tradition has a large number of uniforms, equipment, documents and weapons from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and beyond.

The development of military clothing and accessories is shown.
One will find many original uniforms, worn in the field and on parade by soldier and general, from the battle of Waterloo to the peace missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This museum in Driebergen-Rijsenberg has a history of over 50 years and some of the items of display are unique.

I was quite surprised to see how extensive this museum of Dutch militairy tradition is: memorabilia dating back to Napoleon dates and Battle at Waterloo, a huge collection of uniforms, decorations, badges, newspaper clippings, WWII memorabilia, several tv screens for documentaries, et cetera.
We were heartily welcomed and had an excellent guided tour.

We had the pleasure of donating a few Dutch Navy uniforms.
Note that the museum has limited opening hours, it is run by volunteers.

More on www.flickr.com/photos/



Susan Sontag, biography by Benjamin Moser

Susan Sontag, biography by Benjamin Moser
'Susan Sontag', biography by Benjamin Moser

Susan Sontag, biography by Benjamin Moser

Susan Sontag's grave in Montpernasse
Susan Sontag's grave in Montpernasse

Grave of Joseph Brodsky
Grave of Joseph Brodsky, one of the rare people Sontag admired

Susan Sontag (b. 16Jan1933 – d.28Dec2004) was an American writer, filmmaker, philosopher, teacher and political activist.
She mostly wrote essays, but also published novels and directed 4 films and several plays; she published her first major work, the essay 'Notes on 'Camp', in 1964.
Her best-known works include 'On Photography', 'Against Interpretation', 'Styles of Radical Will', 'The Way We Live Now', 'Illness as Metaphor', 'Regarding the Pain of Others', 'The Volcano Lover' and 'In America'.

Sontag was active in writing and speaking about, or travelling to, areas of conflict, including during the Vietnam War and the Siege of Sarajevo.
She wrote extensively about photography, culture and media, AIDS and illness, human rights, and communism and leftist ideology.
Although her essays and speeches sometimes drew controversy, she has been described as "one of the most influential critics of her generation".
She left a legacy of writing on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, medicine and drugs, radicalism and Fascism and Freudianism and Communism and Americanism, that forms an indispensable key to modern culture.

No writer negotiated as many worlds; no serious writer had as many glamorous lovers. 'Sontag' tells these stories and examines the work upon which her reputation was based. It explores the agonizing insecurity behind the formidable public face: the broken relationships, the struggles with her sexuality, that animated—and undermined—her writing.

A thorough portrait of one of the American Century’s most towering intellectuals: her writing and her radical thought, her public activism and her hidden private face.
Mythologized and misunderstood, lauded and loathed.

I find good biographies a bit daunting and disheartening: the 'likeability' by superficial admiration is stripped away to lay the subject bare. I experienced this with the biographies of Neil Young and Leonard Cohen, and it was no different with Moser's 'Susan Sontag, her life and work'.

Sontag lived very much inside her own brain, other persons were either a subject of analytical consideration or a lover or fan. She could turn hot and cold to people surrounding her with their love and support. She was a kept woman for much of her lifetime, but showed little appreciation. I got the impression she thought of herself as a sort of high priest of art and culture, all that flowed her way, fame and funding, seemed something that was part of her rightful role in life.

Utilizing hundreds of interviews, conducted from Maui to Stockholm and from London to Sarajevo—and featuring nearly one hundred images—'Sontag' is the first book based on the writer’s restricted archives, and on access to many people who have never before spoken about Sontag, including Annie Leibovitz.

Her biographer takes her measure with unfailing intelligence, honesty, and sympathy. Moser doesn’t
gloss over Sontag’s cruelty, the pain she meted out to friendly others even while priding herself on regarding the pain of other others with great (and real) compassion.
Susan Sontag was a difficult, galvanic presence in American arts and letters for half a century.
And this book by Benjamin Moser is an unforgettable portrait.

She had three bouts of cancer and did not survive the 3rd time. Her relationship with Annie Leibowitz, until her death and burial, I found fascinating. As an avid hobby photographer I followed her work for decades, through this book on Susan Sontag I also learned a lot about Annie Leibowitz.

Even after Sontag's death she remains admired or at least a fascination (warts and all) for many. I visited her grave a few years ago in Montpernasse and while reading this book I visited Venice so I made a point of visiting the graves of Joseph Brodski (whom she admired) and Ezra Pound at the Cimitero.

Moser has written a masterpiece, deservedly winner of the Pulitzer Price in Biography.




Blinded (Fartblinda) - tv-series

Blinded (Fartblinda, 2019) is a Swedish TV-series set in the world of finance.

Economics reporter Bea Farkas (Julia Ragnarsson) of The Daily Post has promised herself not to mix jobs and private life, but fails to defend herself when she falls in love with the charming bank CEO Peder Rooth (Matias Varela).
Suddenly she gets a tip that his bank is hiding big problems.

Bea's investigation proves that the tip is real. Despite having serious reservations about investigating the man she loves, Bea digs deeper. With the help of her friend, Adam Berg, who works at ST Bank, she gains access to documents that can prove the bank is cooking the books.
Our enterprising reporter works out that the documents show the bank has overvalued its assets, but she encounters heavy resistance.
In order to fix his dire financial situation, Bea's colleague Thulin has agreed to help Peder.
Peder tries to stop Bea, but she manages to disclose her findings through the websit of the Daily Post.

The Financial Supervisory Authority starts an investigation based on Bea's investigative journalism and articles. As a result the ST Bank loses its license. In a desperate attempt to save the bank from bankruptcy, they try to sell it over one chaotic weekend to meet the deadline

The ST Bank was started by the father of the current owner, Otto Rehnskiöld (Claes Månsson). Otto cannot accept the banks failure, he goes to extreme length to stem the tide.

Bea is plagued by feelings of guilt for the many people who face unemployment and/or bankruptcy. She even considers giving up journalism.
The Economic Crime Authority starts a preliminary criminal investigation into the role of Peder Rooth and Otto Rehnskiöld that led to the bank's insolvency.
People start dying, because of loss of jobs, debts or being a witness of evidence of the bank's wrongdoing and who knew about it.

Meanwhile Bea's inquiries point to Otto. Otto, feeling the noose being tightened, orders his enforcer to stop Bea, for good.

Besides an excellent plot, the characters are very well developed, resulting in compelling drama.
Heartily recommended!

Louis Matias Karl Padin Varela (b.23Jun1980, Södermalm/Stockholm.) is a Swedish actor of Spanish descent.
Julia Maria Ragnarsson (b. 30Jul1992) is a Swedish actress and she played the leading role as Olivia Rönning in the SVT crime series Springfloden - see MyBlog 2016Q3 and Series 2 MyBlog 2019Q1.



Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg
Bruce Davidson on the F Train, New York (1959)

Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg
Left: Jimmy Armstrong, Beatty-Cole-Hamid Circus, The Palisades, New Jersey (1958)

Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg
Antiracist 1961 demonstrations by Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), 1961 & 1963

Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg

Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg
Subway, New York (1980)

Bruce Davidson, biography by Vicky Goldberg
Self-portrait in darkroom, New York, ca. 1958

Bruce Landon Davidson (b. 05Sep1933) is an American photographer. He has been a member of the Magnum Photos agency since 1958. His photographs, notably those taken in Harlem, New York City, have been widely exhibited and published.
He is known for photographing communities usually hostile to outsiders. Such as the then crime infested subway, certain lines, where he prepared and steeled himself by working out - but at one time was relieved of his camera at knifepoint. It did bring him great photos and interesting contacts.

Davidson was in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago, to a Jewish family of Polish origins.
When he was 10, his mother built him a darkroom in their basement and he began taking photographs.
When he was 15 his mother remarried to a lieutenant commander in the US Navy, who was given a Kodak rangefinder camera; Bruce was allowed to use it before being given a more advanced camera for his bar mitzvah.
He was employed at Austin Camera as a stock boy and was approached by local news photographer Al Cox, who taught him the technical nuances of photography.
His artistic influences included Robert Frank, Eugene Smith and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

At 19, Davidson won his first national recognition for his photography, the 1952 'Kodak National High School Photographic Award'.
From 1951, Davidson attended the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he used a second-hand Contax to photograph at Lighthouse Mission and in 1955 he continued in graduate studies at Yale University, studying philosophy, painting and photography.

After one semester at Yale, Davidson was drafted into the US Army, where he served in the Signal Corps at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, attached to the post's photo pool. Initially, he was given routine photo assignments. An editor of the post's newspaper, recognizing his talents, asked that he be permanently assigned to the newspaper.
The Army posted Davidson to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe, just outside Paris.
In bohemian Montmartre, he photographed the widow of the impressionist painter Leon Fauché with her husband's paintings in an archetypal garret. She was old enough to have known Toulouse-Lautrec, Renoir and Gauguin. The series impressed Henri Cartier-Bresson, who became a personal friend and facilitated Davidson's induction into Magnum Photos.

After his military service, in 1957, Davidson worked briefly as a freelance photographer.
In 1958, he became an associate member of the Magnum Photos agency and a full member a year later.
Among Davidson's projects, published in 1970, was East 100th Street, a two-year documentation of a conspicuously poverty-stricken block in East Harlem. Vicki Goldberg and Milton Kramer identify it as the first work of photojournalism to be presented as an art book.
Davidson followed this with Subway, a portrayal of passengers of the New York City Subway system, 1980-82 using color.

Davidson received an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship in 1998, to return to East 100th
His awards include the 'Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Photography' in 2004 and a 'Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award' from the National Arts Club in 2007.
Classic bodies of work from his 50-year career have been extensively published in monographs and are included in many major public and private fine art collections around the world.
He continues to photograph, new bodies of work and 'communicates' through videos on (a.o.) Facebook.




Jonathan Creek, series 5

At the start of the series, Jonathan Creek worked from his home in a converted windmill, he worked as a creative consultant to a stage magician while also solving seemingly supernatural mysteries through his talent for logical deduction and his understanding of illusions.

The series (1997 - 2016) are written by David Renwick and stars Alan Davies as the title character.
It ran semi-regularly from 1997 to 2004, broadcasting for 4 series and 2 Christmas specials, initially co-starring Caroline Quentin as Creek's collaborator, writer Maddy Magellan.
After Quentin's departure in 2001, Julia Sawalha joined the cast as new character Carla Borrego, a theatrical agent turned television presenter.
Following a five-year hiatus, the series returned for a one-off special on 1 January 2009, 'The Grinning Man', which featured Sheridan Smith as another paranormal investigator with whom Creek joins forces. A further 90-minute special, 'The Judas Tree', was filmed in October 2009 and broadcast on 4 April 2010; while a 3rd special, 'The Clue of the Savant's Thumb', was shown at Easter 2013.
Sheridan Smith reprised her role as Joey in both specials.
Series 5 comprised three episodes and featured Sarah Alexander as Jonathan's wife Polly.

As the series progresses, Creek gradually changes from an asocial anorak to a man with a great deal of wit and charm.
This helps to fuel the romantic thread between him and Maddy. Jonathan's trademark duffle coat worn in the first series was actually Alan Davies' own coat that he wore to the auditions; it helped him win the role, as the writer and producers thought it suited the character.

In the 2013 episode 'The Clue of the Savant's Thumb', Jonathan Creek had left the world of theatre and magic and is now a high-powered businessman with a wife, Polly Creek.
During the 5th series (2014), he and his wife move into her family's old village house, with Polly attempting to encourage Jonathan to become part of the local lifestyle. But Jonathan is distracted by various minor mysteries, as well as enthusiastic fans asking for his assistance.

¬When a classic locked room novel is turned into a West End musical, one of its stars falls victim to a real-life 'impossible crime'.
¬A retired local psychic inadvertently makes the most amazing and impossible prediction of his career.
¬A wealthy kidnap victim appears to pull off a mind-boggling act of teleportation to alert the police to her whereabouts.

Indeed a very comfortable 'feel good' series, very British in its style and comedy. A pleasure to watch.




Frozen Out by Quentin Bates, review

The discovery of a corpse washed up on a beach in an Icelandic backwater sparks a series of events that takes police sergeant Gunnhildur, 'Gunna', into a police inquiry much beyond her usual police activities of directing heavy industrial traffic and local disturbance in the small village of Hvalvik.

Although under pressure to deal with the matter quickly, she is suspicious that the man's death was no accident and once she has identified the body, sets about investigating his final hours.
Gradualy the case takes Gunnhildur away from her village where a new industrial plant is built, to Reykjavik and Keflavik, into a cosmopolitan world of shady deals, government corruption and violence.

Quentin Bates was born in southern England. At one point in life, he made a decision to work in Iceland for a year, but wound up staying for an entire decade.
He used this experience, plus some time he took a writing course at a university to work on his fiction writing.
Although British, Bates's writing is more in line with Scandinavian crime fiction authors. This is my 2nd Gunnhildur Gunna Gísladóttir novel by Bates (for 'Cold Comfort' see MyBlog 2020Q2) these books have firmly established themselves in my liking.

This debut novel 'Frozen Out' (also called 'Frozen Assets', NL: 'Bevroren Tegoeden') was released in 2011. Besides writing mystery crime novels, he has also released non-fiction work and works as a full time journalist as well writes feature pieces for a nautical trade magazine that is quite obscure.

Gunnhildur is not a glamorous type, she has a sturdy physique, mourns the loss of her husband, her teenage daughter is still at school while her son works on a fish trawler.
Gunna is tough to the bone, determined and down-to-earth (if not blunt).
A young aspiring journalist follows her around for a profile in a weekend supplement. There is also a blogger stirring trouble.
This novel looks into the corruption in Iceland that led to economic devastation that it has not yet recovered from.

I like the Gunnhildur character, finding her to be a very realistic protagonist who is likeable and has a past. One gets a taste of what happened to her in her past, without revealing a whole lot about it.

It seems there is a 3rd novel out, one I will look out for: 'Chilled to the Bone', the 3rd book in the 'Officer Gunnhilder' series.




MyBrexit 52/48 by Merlin Daleman (Kunsthal,2020)

MyBrexit 52/48 by Merlin Daleman (Kunsthal,2020)

MyBrexit 52/48 by Merlin Daleman (Kunsthal,2020)

MyBrexit 52/48 by Merlin Daleman (Kunsthal,2020)

MyBrexit 52/48 by Merlin Daleman (Kunsthal,2020)

Today I visited the exhibition ‘My Brexit 52/48’ by the British-Dutch photo journalist Merlin Daleman in De Kunsthal Rotterdam.
The photographs tell the poignant story of a divided Great-Britain.
In 2016, a small majority of British people voted to leave the European Union. Fascinated by the referendum results, Daleman returned to the region where he grew up.
In the Black Country, the former mining district west of Birmingham, it seemed as if time had been standing still.
In the cities Daleman travelled to, he found that everything was still much the same as during his childhood, although now in a dilapidated state.
This observation made him curious and prompted him to travel the country to photograph daily life in places where people predominantly voted either for or against Brexit.

Most of the people Daleman has captured were never able to profit from the prosperity brought on by a united Europe.
While the images tell a story of discontent and poverty, they also show solidarity. He zooms in on families and friends going on an outing together, visiting a fun fair, and gambling in the amusement arcades of the seaside town of Skegness.
In gripping images, Daleman shows groups of like-minded people gathering in the streets.
A few people at a bus stop in Grimsby who are talking and drinking, and who are waiting – although not for a bus. Young people at a fish-and-chip shop in Hull who are pessimistic about the future, but happy that they are no longer part of the EU anymore.

Hidden beneath these often everyday scenes lie high unemployment figures, a growing number of homeless people, health issues and a great deal of division. A rain-drenched high street in Stratford-upon-Avon. The fences and gates that people seem to be defending their territory with in Belfast. As a documentary photographer, Daleman knows how to capture significant details.

Merlin Daleman (1977) has a Dutch mother and a British father. He grew up in the Black Country, the former mining district west of Birmingham. Daleman left England to study at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, the Netherlands. Having specialised in documentary photography, he now regularly travels between his place of residence in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant and his native country.

Note 1: I regretted that there was no catalogue available of this work
Note 2: The map by Kunsthal had at least 3 incorrect spellings of cities; sloppy work!

Text from: www.kunsthal.nl/en/plan-your-visit/exhibitions/merlin-daleman/



Hassel - tv-series

Detective Roland 'Rolle' Hassel's father figure and mentor, Yngve Ruda, is brutally murdered late at night in his car at a remote location, while waiting for someone to meet him.
Devastated, Hassel (Ola Rapace) decides to undertake his own covert investigation to find Ruda's killer and avenge him with the support of 'Triton', a special task force consisting of Hassel's most devoted co-workers: Meyer (Shanti Roney), Palm (Thomas Holwin), Frank (David Nzinga) and Lindhe (Nanna Blodell).
Triton was led by Ruda and his motto to the team was always to be honest to each other, only to find out now that Ruda kept secrets from them.
The team operates beyond the bounderies of what is legal, kidnapping and torturing suspects. They are caught in a spiral of violence. Someone of Internal Affairs is assigned to scrutinize and evaluate their investigations, including the one into the murder of Ruda. The investigation is led by Fatima Nidal (Ana Gil de Melo Nascimento).

Hassel's obsession with the case bitterly affects his family.
He, his girlfriend Daniela (Aliette Opheim) and his 14-year-old stepdaughter Vida (Wilma Lidén) struggle to stay together as a real family. Daniela demands Hassel to protect her and Vida, but Hassel feels betrayed by Ruda and sees this has his priority.
In fact, there isn't a likeable person in this series, it's unbelievable grim.

Vida's real father, Leon (Jens Hultén), is ending a 13 year old prison sentence and is keen to meet his daughter. Daniela tries to prevent this and forbids Vida to meet him. But Vida has a mind of her own.
Meanwhile, the evidence on Ruda's killer leads away from the street and up the corridors of power in Stockholm and Brussels.
Hassel's battle against crime and corruption knows no boundaries and he will stop at nothing, endangering Daniela, Vida as well as his team.

I have to admit I did not much care for this series, though I kept watching all 10 episodes. There's plenty of action. But in spite of 10 episodes there is hardly any character building, nothing much becomes known of Daniela's background nor that of the team (except Frank, who suffers from PTSD from his days as a sniper in Afghanistan).
Hassel often shows his body building muscles, but we never see him going to the gym. Too many young, beautiful women. Too many plotlines that remain unended. Too many gaps in the storyline, like a hatched job done on scenes.
No, don't think a 2nd series of Hassel is of interest to me.




John Constable in Teyler's Museum

John Constable in Teyler's Museum

John Constable in Teyler's Museum

John Constable in Teyler's Museum

John Constable (b.11Jun1776 – d.31Mar1837) was an English landscape painter in the Romantic tradition.
Born in Suffolk, he is known principally for revolutionising the genre of landscape painting with his pictures of Dedham Vale, the area surrounding his home – now known as 'Constable Country'.

Constable's favourite subject was the landscape of his youth on the east coast of England near Harwich.
No artist had ever painted as much outdoors as he would. Greatly inspired by the way in which the Old Masters such as Ruisdael, Rembrandt and Rubens had depicted the Dutch landscape, he approached the English landscape with an original and open gaze. This enabled him to catch the effect of sudden weather changes.

Enjoyed this splendid exhibition immensely, and it may well be when the Covid-19 pandemic is over and we can visit England again, we'll tour 'Constable Country'!




Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom in sandsculptures
Province of Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom, in sandsculptures

Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom in sandsculptures
D-Day 1944, landing at Normandy

Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom in sandsculptures

Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom in sandsculptures

Gelderland celebrating 75 years of freedom in sandsculptures
Holland being liberated by the Allied Forces in 1945


Sculptures at Garderen, Gelderland (NL)

Sculptures at Garderen, Gelderland (NL)

A visit to the sandsculptures of Garderen (GLD), what a magnificent job these artists have achieved!
The theme of this year's sandsculptures is 'Celebrating 75 years of freedom!'
It started with Operation Market Garden and ended with the German surrender.
Large parts of the Gelderland province were in the front area. There was fierce fighting, evacuations, flooding and destruction.
In 2019 and 2020 the province commemorates W.W.2 and celebrate 75 years of freedom, lest we forget..

With the nostalgic showroom village, the Sculpture Garden is the place to get ideas to dress up your home and garden. A wide range of garden statues and other decorations for the garden. There are two restaurants and is well suited for people in wheelchairs.
I am sure I will revisit this location!

Flickr.com sand sculptures @Garderen
Flickr.com other sculptures @Garderen
Zandsculpturen.nl (NL)




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Created: 01-OCT-2020