Jeu de Paume in Paris is hosting a major retrospective of Johan van der Keuken, a Dutch artist who worked with both photography and cinema. The exhibition, titled The Rhythm of Images, showcases his artistic vision across his career. The exhibition is open from June 16 to September 17, 2023.

Johan van der Keuken (1938-2001) was a versatile and innovative artist, who started taking pictures when he was 12 years old. He was inspired by the direct cinema movement and used his camera as a way to document reality in a personal and expressive way. He was also fascinated by the rhythm and movement of images, and experimented with different editing techniques to create new visual languages.

The exhibition presents over a hundred vintage prints from Dutch and French collections, as well as original dummies of some of his most famous photographic books, such as We Are 17 (1955) and Paris Mortel (1963). The photographs are displayed in dialogue with a selection of short films by van der Keuken. The films show his diverse range of topics and styles, from social documentaries to poetic essays. The exhibition also includes a program of full-length films that provide a deeper insight into van der Keuken's life-long engagement with the image. Some of these films are: Blind Child (1964), The White Castle (1973), The Flat Jungle (1978), Amsterdam Global Village (1996) and To Sang Fotostudio (1997).

Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition is organised by the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, in collaboration with Jeu de Paume. The curators are Frits Gierstberg, curator at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, and Pia Viewing, curator at Jeu de Paume. The Neuflize OBC Foundation has chosen to support this exhibition, with the help of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in France. The curators have shared some of their insights and perspectives on Johan van der Keuken's work and vision:

"Johan van der Keuken was a unique artist who constantly challenged the boundaries between photography and cinema. He was interested in capturing the essence of reality, but also in creating new forms of expression through rhythm and montage. His work is both poetic and political, personal and universal." - Frits Gierstberg
"Johan van der Keuken's work is a testimony of his curiosity and engagement with the world. He travelled extensively and documented different cultures and social issues with his camera. He also experimented with different genres and formats, from documentary to essay, from short to long films. His work is a rich and diverse source of inspiration for contemporary artists." - Pia Viewing

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