Be strong everybody. Take care. Show who you are. Bye.


With these words Dutch filmmaker Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) ended his last film Bye. On December 28th 1990, six months after finishing this movie, he passed away. In 1956 Van der Elsken became famous through his photo book A Love History in Saint Germain des Près. In this book the (night) life of young Parisians was portrayed. In the photo books Bagara (1957), Sweet Life (1966) and Eye Love You (1977) Van der Elsken showed pictures he had taken during his travels; images of a hunt in Africa, Japanese city-life or the Indian population. The photos from the book Amsterdam (1979), in which he captured his place of birth and the people who lived there, form a historic visual document of the city. In 1961 Van der Elsken started to make movies as well. In A Photographer films Amsterdam (1982), he filmed people who passed him by on the streets. He filmed them in the same manner that he photographed them, observing them long and indiscretely. The film shows the reactions of the people confronted by Van der Elsken and his camera, as well as his reaction to them. In most images of Van der Elsken subjectivity was paramount; his best photos and films embody his fierceness, excitement, and joy. The unconventional technique and the gritty snapshot-like quality of his work has been of great importance in the development of contemporary photography.

Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents a special selection of black and white vintage prints and colour photographs. Also presenting, Annet Gelink Gallery shows a film including fragments of A photographer films Amsterdam (1982) and The Infatuated Camera (1971), realised with generous support of the Dutch Film museum.