It suddenly dawned on me while we were strolling through Amsterdam – I’ve been “homeless” for two years solid now. I’ve stayed in nearly 40 places ever since I put most of my belongings in storage in ’09. A suitcase, a laptop and a camera is all take with me. I like traveling relatively light, I like moving and I don’t miss my stuff, however, I am starting to miss feeling at home.
The reason why we went to Amsterdam was to pay a visit to the Marianne Breslauer
exhibition at the Jewish Historical Museum
. Marianne Breslauer (1909-2001) was a photographer during the Weimar Republic and only did so for about 10 years. Marianne worked in Paris for a while where she became a pupil of May Ray. She also worked for a German agency, Academia, who told Marianne to work under a pseudonym in order to hide the fact that she was Jewish. She refused and subsequently moved to Amsterdam and to Switzerland later on. Marianne left photography behind her as she became bored with the medium and more interested in her husband’s business as an art dealer.
The exhibition was ok. I wasn’t overly impressed, I must admit. It showed quite a lot of her work, even her graduation project and several publications but the work itself never quite touched me. To me, the best thing was the historical perspective offered by her work. I really liked seeing how the women dressed in the 30’s, the very short hairdo’s, the masculine way of dressing yet remaining ever so feminine. I would love to look like that. The other thing I really liked about Marianne, was that she just walked away from the world of photography. She explained in an interview that she had done and photographed all she wanted to do, and had simply reached an end. I like that. Knowing when it’s over.
The real reason came later. While Arthur was browsing around one of Amsterdam’s best record stores, Concerto, I found a photo book by Jim Marshall
(1936-2010). Just flicking through that book is impossible. One has to stand still and look at every picture carefully. Jim has photographed all of music’s biggest stars; Beatles, Stones, Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Blondie, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Howling Wolf, John Coltrane. The list is endless. Most of his images have become part of our collective visual memory. Who doesn’t know that image of Johnny Cash giving the finger towards the camera, Jimi Hendrik on stage or Little Richard deep in thought before he takes to the stage?
Ohhh, imagine being his assistant for a week. The things you would see, the things I would learn. It would be amazing. To build a portfolio like his is something I can only dream of.
Perhaps that can be home for a while, not a physical place but the determination to build a strong portfolio that will take me places. I think that sounds quite lovely:)
Watch Jim Marshall here:
All photos are copyrighted and belong to the photographers:
Top: Ruth Von Morgen by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Middle: Lisa Von Cramm by Marianne Breslauer. Berlin 1934
Bottom: June Carter and Johnny Cash by Jim Marshall
Video: Sean Dana