Paris Mortel |retouched

This book presents next to a complete facsimile of the original Paris Mortel ©1963 a full documentation of the creation process that resulted in Johan van der Keuken’s classic publication.
In addition to an extensive introduction and background information provided by the composer Willem van Zoetendaal, the book also contains a selection of photographs from Van der Keuken’s Paris period (1956-1958) that have never been published before, (85 photographs). These photographs include many that were taken in the ’12th arrondissement’ where he lived, and these closely resemble those incorporated by the photographer in the final dummy version of 160 pages and 132 photos.

In the selection, we find striking revelations such as a photo of men seen through a misted over café window in Rue Tiquetonne, from which Van der Keuken made a variety of cropped versions but which did not make it to the final version of the book. Van der Keuken also took some stunning photos in the neighbourhood of his apartment in Rue de Traversière.
At the end of the book, we see a facsimile of the final publication, designed by Marinus H. van Raalte and dating from 1963. It deviates considerably from the final dummy and is reduced to 64 pages and 80 photographs. The book ‘Paris Mortel retouché’, format 185 x 260mm, paperback with dust jacket, contains 188 pages and is printed in duo tone and full colour

Johan van der Keuken was born in Amsterdam in 1938. At the age of twelve, he began experimenting with photography, and by seventeen had published his first photo book Wij zijn 17 (1955): a series of portraits of his lethargic classmates. In 1956, he moved to Paris to study at the Institute des Hautes Etudes Cinématographiques. During this period, he developed his skills as a photographer and filmmaker. It was during this time that he also discovered the direct style of American photographer William Klein, a major influence on van der Keuken’s work, as he admitted.
This resulted in the publication of ‘Paris Mortel‘, in which he depicted the non-romantic side of the French capital. Today, this photo book rightly deserves to be called an international classic.

Paris Mortel 1956-1958 ©1963 Johan van der Keuken

author: Johan van der Keuken
designer/concept: Willem van Zoetendaal
©2013 Van Zoetendaal
paperback + dustjacket, 188 pages , ills FC + Duotone, 26×18,5 cm, English/French
Although sold out Paris Mortel |retouched is again part of Test Press Books #3 at KO-OP. Sofia / 12*- 22 Oct 2023