"What is the purpose of a photography book? Although a growing awareness of the journalistic value of photography has been developing since the start of the millennium, the issue is still a matter of debate. And a single look at some of the most representative works among photo-books is enough to convince you that the question is still relevant." - Markus Schaden in Préliminaires / Making Spadework
Dutch photographer and filmmaker Ed van der Elsken relocated to Paris in 1950. There he found a bohemian group, closely following and photographing their everyday movements, intertwining fiction and reality in a new genre of photography book. The reconstruction of this process from unpublished documents – contact prints, sketches, maps – illuminates not only the nihilist worldview of the young people he befriends but also the cinematographic layout of the book, ‘Love on the Left Bank’.
A fiction extracted from these documents confronts the original narrative that Van der Elsken established in the book, a visual story accompanied by a text by Tamara Berghmans.