FIRST EDITION OF VAN DER ELSKEN’S BAGARA, 1958
VAN DER ELSKEN, Ed. Bagara. (Amsterdam): De Bezige Bij, . Quarto, original black cloth rebacked with original spine laid down, original photographic dust jacket. $950.
First edition of this incisive photo-essay on Equatorial Africa, illustrated with 138 rich photogravures (most double-page, eight in color).
“Out of stream-of-consciousness photography emerged several distinct genres, [among them] the photographic odyssey, the photographer’s quest to find himself,… the photographic version of On the Road” (Parr & Badger, 255). In 1957 Van der Elsken made a three-month trip into the interior of Central Africa. Bagara gives an incisive picture of the native peoples and their culture, in which hunting, magic, death-dances and circumcision play an important role. In his own words, traveling the world “is enough to keep me in a delirium of delight, surprise, enthusiasm, despair—enough to keep me roaming, stumbling, faltering, cursing, adoring, hating the destruction, the violence in myself and others.” See Roth, 146; Icons of Photography, 141; Open Book, 168.
Interior fine. Edge-wear to scarce dust jacket. A near-fine copy.