Jugaad and Michael Wolf’s bastard chairs

Jugaad is a term for wonderful low-tech innovative solutions. It originates from India where a large part of the population is still very poor but tries to make the best of the scarce resources they have.

Jugaad reminds me of the bastard chairs that Michael Wolf photographed in Hong Kong. Wonderfully simple and cheap solutions. Sort of jugaad too.

Chim in Joods Historisch Museum Amsterdam

A large exposition in Joods Historisch Museum in Amsterdam of the work of David “Chim” Seymour. On show is an extensive display of his work, covering all stages of his life. From his youth in Poland (born as Dawid Szymin) to last photos during the Suez War, where he was killed by gunfire.
Leads you intensively through the 30s, 40s and early 50s, showing Chim’s impressive work and sometimes iconic pictures.
Exhibition ends 10 March 2019.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 2016 2160p UHD ...

On the plane I give myself time to watch a movie, at home almost never. But still I don’t watch all the pulp. Next to me, the neighbor is watching Red Sparrow, a movie that doesn’t make you happy, so from a distance.

I pick out this film by Burton: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Actually because everything by Burton can be trusted. Also this movie is as pleasantly peculiar as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, Dark Shadows.

However, no Johnny Depp in the high profile role in this film. Asa Butterfield plays Jake, a boy from an ordinary family with an agonizingly unimaginative and unpatriotic father, who has found his life’s fulfillment in bird-watching. Asa is a skinny boy who fits the cartoon character role of Jake just fine.

Jake’s grandfather turns out to have led a hidden life as a hunter of evil creatures. Jake finds himself following in his grandfather’s footsteps. He must save Peculiar Children from devil-like creatures (Samuel L. Jackson) who are targeting their eyeballs. The story is difficult to retell, but is a fairy tale with the typical Burton horror character without becoming flat horror. Fantasy and reality are pleasantly blended into a Roald Dahl-like story.

Bechers in Huis Marseille

The station is enormously crowded. Walking over the heads down the escalator. Maybe normal for a Saturday afternoon, maybe extra busy because of the beautiful weather. We take the streetcar, also to avoid the crowds of the Damrak. At the Keizersgracht we leave the streetcar and I walk the wrong way, as it is pre-programmed towards FOAM, but for Huis Marseille we must of course go the other way.

At Huis Marseille we are overtaken by three people who are busily discussing their way into the museum before us. One of them turns out to be the speaker for a lecture at Huis Marseille that afternoon: Stefan Gronert. He wrote The Düsseldorf School of Photography

The Dusseldorf School of Photography: Stefan Gronert ...

But we haven’t come for the lecture (which is held in an overly warm room on the second floor of the House). In the halls hang the works of the Bechers’ students – in the room near the reception a number of works by the Bechers themselves. The down-to-earth documentary style appeals to me very much but I find the larger formats of the students such as Gursky and Struth even more telling, with their overwhelming detail.

The Bechers’ new business acumen, with its almost scientific slant, has been an inspiration for the younger generation of photographers hanging here. The industrial landscapes of Gursky and the church interiors of Struth: vacation photo of church attendance on steroids, Ruff with experimental night shots, library landscapes of Candida Höfer, Hütte’s empty cityscapes and landscapes portraying a lonely civilization. I find the works of the younger (I think) generation Sasse, Nieweg and Clement less powerful.

We walk back through the city. At the Atheneum we go inside but the excess is overwhelming. Back along the Jordaan and another terrace.

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam
Schumich, Singel, Amstedam

Araki en Maier in FOAM, 2015

2015. Amsterdam.

In the Stedelijk Museum large, dark paintings by Marlene Dumas. Not very colourful.

In FOAM lives Araki. With sensitive images of his life and especially his wife. The images demonstrate his love for her. After her death he shifts to pornographic and sadomasochistic topics. Then he finds rest in large, very colourful stills of flowers against a black background.

Vivian Maier has a small exhibition in the corridors and the small rooms in the back of FOAM. She  is at least as interesting. Wonderful street photography. Unfortunately it is extremely busy in the small passages of FOAM. Visitors shuffle breast to belly. I flee.


The Zeedijk is a mini Chinatown.