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