Inspired by the beautiful 19th-century photograph album Le Chemin de Fer du Nord, Theo Baart and Cary Markerink – already acclaimed for documentary photograph projects such as Nagele and Snelweg – followed in the footsteps of the photographer Édouard Baldus (1813–1889) and turned their cameras towards the man-made landscape of northern France. In their series After Baldus they document – in colour – the changes that this region has experienced over the last 150 years as the result of industrialization, urbanization, globalization and several wars. For 50 of these photographs they made prints for their own album, whose large format and design is identical to Baldus’ original. Museums usually forbid their visitors to touch anything, but in Huis Marseille this exhibition offers the unique experience of leafing through Baart and Markerink’s album with your own – gloved! – hands.
Their photographs are by no means a shot-for-shot replica of Baldus’ work, but document in a similar way the state of the man-made landscape along the same track in the 21st century. Where Baldus’ world stood on the threshold of industrialisation, that of Baart and Markerink has had to deal not just with industrialisation but also with urbanization, globalization, and several wars.
Exhibition Theo Baart and Cary Markerink
‘After Baldus: Travels in a Wounded Landscape’
Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography
Until March 5, 2017