Photographer Bertien van Manen (NL, 1942) has captured the daily lives of the people she meets on her travels since the 1970s. From the Netherlands to China and from the former Soviet Union to the Appalachians, it is the ordinary, chaotic moments that most attract Bertien van Manen. Her straightforward 35mm camera allows her to get close to her subjects, and she was a pioneer of the empathetic, intimate documentary style.
The retrospective Wish I Were Here allows the visitor to look over van Manen’s shoulder. It is the result of a close collaboration between van Manen and the graphic designer Hans Gremmen, who spent a year and a half researching her archive for the retrospective book of her work Archive (MACK, 2021).
Bertien van Manen studied French, German and Russian and made her breakthrough on the photography scene in the 1990s with her series A Hundred Summers, a Hundred Winters. Her work has been exhibited internationally and acquired by museums such as MoMA (New York), Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris) and FOMU (Antwerp).
The book Bertien van Manen – Archive, can be purchased in the FOMU shop.
This exhibition was partly realized with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Belgium.
Artists: Bertien van Manen