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Urban Photography in 19th century Bruges, I

Between Tourism and Restoration

All descriptions of works of art are determined by the dominant attitudes of the describer, and photographs are no different in this regard from any other form of description.
Ralph Lieberman

The Material

Scores of old photographs of the Belfort, City Hall, the Begijnhof Bridge: the repetition discourages concentration. For those of us inclined to be allergic to monuments, this unceasing homage to the city's local monuments is no longer comprehensible. Inevitably, the absence of people in the street scenes evokes the melancholy of an abandoned city. These are images of a fossil, not of a living organism. A little later on, it is clear that almost all of these pictures are of historic buildings. There are practically no contemporary neighbourhoods or structures to be seen, no images of the first railway station on the Zand (1841, from designs by Auguste Payen), just a few of the second train station (1879, after designs by Jozef Schadde), hardly any traces of an everyday local life. I find a few images of the neoclassical fish market, with customers, and an extremely rare glimpse of the little proletarian 'forts' built into the city infrastructure. Beyond that, they are always streets of shops with no customers, churches without churchgoers, roads without vehicles. Murnau produced pictures like these of Bremen, ready for the visit from the vampire.

Naturally, the collections of the Municipal Archives in Bruges, the Provincial Archives and the Steinmetz Cabinet are not all there is to say about photographs produced in Bruges during the nineteenth century. There were also numerous portraits (as is apparent in the Guillaume Michiels and Jaak Rau collections and the publications they generated). Any statement about photography in Bruges is always done conditionally, depending on as yet unmade discoveries. Nonetheless, the combined forces of the production and the preservation of the photographs have resulted in a coherent body of work.

The experience that proves the rule for nineteenth-century photography is that it is not seductive. The photographic perspective is unmoving: nor was it intended to move the viewer. Its purpose was description, not inducement or temptation. This does seem to be about a different kind of photography than we know today. It is no real wonder that today, those who work in archives and publicity, who make use of them, do not look at the photographs themselves, but only at what can be seen 'in' those photographs. Urban history uses photographs as vessels for information. The vessels themselves are not a part of that information.

For me, this material is intriguing. I immediately look over the shoulder of this or that monument, to the image and to the photographer. As an admirer from the start of the broad, highly differentiated school of contemporary topographical photography, I try to see through to the sequence within which the choices were made. The stubborn rigidity of this stately photography appeals to me (as a counterpoint to floating images). Its efficient sobriety stands as lofty humility against so much contemporary megalomania, and the attentive concentration of each exposure invites me to stop with these images a little longer. After a few weeks in the archives, through repeated looking at the images, so much diversity became apparent that they lost the uniformity that had made them so banal. What had been a pile of photographs of the Belfort now revealed itself as a very diversified ensemble of very different visual solutions. The humble silver music of these photographs, which so often rings like the sawing squeal of an angry violin, does indeed have a melody of its own. What are the contours of this melody? What are its possibilities?

In any case, I am as aware of the image the monuments produced as I am of the monuments themselves. Here, in these archives, the history of 'image' is as laden as the history of the monument portrayed. The monument itself, as well as its nineteenth-century registration, demanded an aesthetic judgement. Every description is a means of giving form, as well as a judgement made throughout that form-giving. I am in search of the insight expressed here, in this photographic form. If you only look at what is depicted, you are behaving as though the image made no statement about it, when any image is in fact always a judgement, an opinion in its own right. Which accents, which shapes and forms did the nineteenth-century city assume in the work of these photographers? Which sensitivities were being developed, and what was the urban poetry that unfolded by way of the practical solutions of the photographers?

All music is created by friction: a bow on a violin string, the air in an oboe, a drumstick on a membrane. The music of photographs is also the result of such crossing and criss-crossing: of a framework with its subject. Daveluy (ca. 1850), with his morning light on the Bruges City Hall, or the very specific blurring in the image of Bruges by the Viennese photographer Heinrich Kühn (1897-98), for example. All photographic choices are made in relation to a specific motif at a specific moment: repeatedly, the photographs are responses to their subject. Without knowledge of that subject, there are no choices to be made in photographic form. The thing being photographed allows me to understand how it was photographed. I need the idea of the city in order to trace the idea of the photography, but it works the other way around as well, for a specific idea of photography in turn magically reveals a new face of the city. I need the city and the photography together to understand the 'city image' that resulted. From the interplay of photographic form and urban design is created something that goes beyond each when taken separately: the image of the city. A few dozen square centimetres on flimsy albumin paper - it is so stiff as an image, so fragile as an object - but nonetheless, it is all choice. It is about these choices, for photographs do not grow by themselves.

The City

The nineteenth-century city: a utopian daydream and a diabolical thing of fear, all in one; objectified by prospective thinking and made subjective by deep panic; a patrimony to be protected and raw material to be opened up; land speculation and exploitation of the eye of the tourist; a history of art and culture and a reduction to banality by way of all possible forms of comfort. In the course of the nineteenth century, cities became the explicit object of new policy (urbanism), of new practices (tourism), of a new kind of human intervention (restoration and redevelopment) and a new description (patrimony).

Paris was the capital of this process, and there was no city that escaped its influence. In academies and universities, in the studios of writers and painters, at the pinnacles of politics and in the studios of architects, it was thought about and debated. From 1840 onwards, photography, the new visual technique, also played its role. Although Paris was the point of reference, Paris was still just one European city among thousands of others, where, with at most some delay, they faced the same challenges. Each city reacted after its own fashion, in some combination of submissiveness and resistance. The norm is general, the resistance always specific. Geographic, financial and ideological differences generated a wide range of diverse reactions and solutions.

Bruges also modernized itself, but it did so by giving absolute precedence to a single window of the renewal project: conservation and restoration. Historicizing is the second half of nineteenth-century modernizing. In Bruges, the Concert Hall (1869, designed by Gustave Saintenoy) in the city centre is the most prominent reminder of a rapidly crippled ambition to become visibly modern, to be nineteenth-century. This project, under a liberal city government led by Jules Boyaval, was honed back by catholic opinion. Even the Steenstraat did not become the modern promenade of the new middle class and consumerism. Here, in this city, the bourgeoisie never explicitly acquired a face of its own.

The modern city is therefore also sooner a typically ideal object, a theoretical hypothesis. In reality, there are just cities, in the plural, and each is a case apart. When we fail to see the local urban histories and personalities, we miss an essential key to clarifying the visual material.

At the same time, parallel solutions for parallel problems did present themselves. Each city was unique, but all faced identical challenges. Beginning in 1852, the Bruges photographer Jan Frans Michiels (1823-1887) recorded the completion of the Cologne cathedral. It is one famous example alongside scores of others, for photographers travelled and moved their residences remarkably often. Their style, their sensitivities were adaptable. An attentive, comparative reading of the photographs reveals how, beyond the many similarities, there are truly significant differences between, for example, urban images by Pietro Poppi (1833-1914), the leading photographer of Bologna, and those of Victor Daveluy (1846-1886), who produced a crucial album of urban views of Bruges.

Our attention, therefore, must volley back and forth between uniformity and specificity, between the monotone imposed by a technique and the subtle accents of each individual who employed it, between the comparability and the incomparability of each location and each monument. Only in this restless motion does the photograph emerge as an expression of importance.

Each City is Three Cities

Every city presents itself as three cities. This story is about images of a city, so we are - to greater and lesser degrees - concerned with the representation, the imagined city. A city in images, but also in our imaginations, both portrayed and fantasized: this is the city as literature relates it (for Bruges, this was primarily Georges Rodenbach, as well as Van de Woestijne and Rilke), as art historians research and stylize it (from James Wheale to Adolphe Duclos), as painters interpret it (Henri Le Sidaner, 1898-1899) or engravers tarnish it (De rolweg, 1907, Jules de Bruycker). Banal clichés, such as 'the Venice or the Nurenberg of the North', also make up part of this construction.

A second city can be read in municipal charts and maps. For Bruges, the first of these, by Marcus Gerards, dates from 1562. In the nineteenth century, the Bruges firm of Popp published the Belgian Land Registry, which included Bruges. This horizontal projection provided a structural reading of the city. It accentuated the city as a network, making it accessible to more global interventions. Without city charts, there is no urban investigation or expertise. A portrait of a city concerns the city as a wall of facades, as a vertical thing; the city in the portraits dramatizes the building facades, while the city in the charts de-dramatizes them. In the portrayed city, buildings take on emotional relationships with one another. Conversely, in the charted city, relationships are translated into directions and distances. The chart is not a depiction, but a translation of the city. The chart - the map - is essential for the visitor, but also for a researcher in the archives. The layout of its streets makes it possible for me to place the photographers and their situations. But between the city as an image and the city as a map stretches a substantial distance. The former makes the city an entity (even a person), while the latter turns it into structure: synthesis as opposed to analysis. The first follows the laws of association and analogy (Rodenbach's associations are exceptionally rich and complex), while the second follows the laws of measurement (ownership and power are here at work).

From here, we come to the third city: the inhabited city (la ville vécu). Here, image and chart, imagination and power, projection and ownership all grate and chafe against one another. What was happening in the city that people lived in and experienced cannot be seen or heard. The lived-in city bundled itself together in repressed symptoms, in which censored resistance and gnawing frustration indicated the taunting distance between imagination and power. Across from aesthetic pleasure as a sign of a utopian, good city with a human - humane - format stood the goading resistance of facts and structures. The imagination, as image and as fantasy, projects us into the city. The map - those projections of the city - project us back out. We can locate ourselves on the map although we are no longer in that city. The inhabited city is the friction between the two, the imagined and the charted city. Politics makes itself master of that experience and profits from it. Only a city that creates nothing but happiness would require no politics.

Sometimes the photography was in the service of the structure: see the inventories of our city heritage, as in the so-called Album Ronse, by Alfons Watteyne (1858-1929), or the work of Alexander Simays (1866-1944) in Maastricht. Very occasionally, photography took the inhabited city and its resistance as its subject, by showing, for example, images of distressed living conditions. Sometimes, cautious initiatives were undertaken to bring the city of the picture into relative perspective, with images of industry, where a living had to be earned (as in the Lebon firm's exceptional 1885 series on the Van Mullem distilleries). But the overwhelming majority of the images had to do with the imagination, in which the city was made into a living whole. These images were a partner in dialogue for its visitors, who could avoid the lived-in city, the city of experience, and who, via the city as a map, moved from monument to monument, through an imaginary urban reconstruction,.

Visual Cultures in the Nineteenth Century

Photography was operating within an exploding visual culture, one whose role was essentially illustrative. It had to be possible to present everything (in exhibitions). It had to be possible to depict everything (in prints) - both things and events. The difference between the two was not a fundamental one, as things were still being told, and every description was at the same time also a dramatization. Each thing was a sedimentation of a history, certainly that of the city, its constructions, its stones.

The showing of things - their reproduction - was a process of the imagination, just like the telling, the relating of events. It was bringing something into our process of imagining. Bringing something into view continually presupposes that people can imagine it, which is to say picture it in their imagination. This visual culture did not present facts, but was built around the need for empathic identification. The nineteenth century strove to make itself visible by way of narrative, in image and in presentation. The nineteenth-century image was a link between showing and telling, between making something visible and comprehensible and empathic imagining. Without the after-sensation of Romanesque grammar in that visualization, the soul of that visual culture escapes us. A rampant 'imagolatry' was the seldom-acknowledged basic melody of the nineteenth century. The effect of photography must also be seen in this way. Reproduction, since the twentieth century presented merely as a purifying and (and tarnishing) objectification, takes very poor account of the drama that was present in nineteenth-century reproductions of architecture and urban scenes.

In the nineteenth century, different visual strategies repeatedly intersected one another. Their connections and combinations resulted in increasing complexity, impurity and acceleration. Central to this process was an explosively expanding strategy of reproduction, in whose behalf printing techniques, later expanded by photography, were employed. The idea of the reproduction implies multiplication, and innate to this - immediately - is the logic that underlies reproduction in series'. A reproduction is not a one-time activity, but a campaign in which several items (as many as possible) are reproduced. The line-up of derivatives thus evolved into the series, a set of reproduced entities, in fact something quite unlike a collection. Reproduced documents expanded and grew into documentation.

In this context, aesthetic sensitivity was not indifferent to the results of new techniques. Increasingly, they slipped into artistic practice, and each technique lent itself to artistic suggestions. Precisely because photography was more of a printing technique than a pictorial practice, people saw the weight of graphic visual language grow increasingly stronger. In the nineteenth century, they found themselves working more and more frequently in the service of the exploitation of printing processes. Through reproductions and illustrations, visual culture was growing towards a mixture of graphic and pictorial logic, with the former the more dominant of the two. Everything came to fruition between the two covers of 'the Book': the imaginary museum. The city too awaited the compilation of its book.

This brings us to the third tendency of nineteenth-century visual culture: its pronounced Romanesque character. Its picturesque quality was pre-eminently narrative and dramatizing. Romantic book illustration was the crucial horizon for all nineteenth-century images. It was here where images became prints. The concept of the illustration and the concept of the reproduction were two contrasting and connected cores of nineteenth-century visual culture. Photography must always be seen within the three kinds of logic - it was at once conceptual and instinctive. In this context, the reproduction played an ever more important role, with the idea of the collection intersecting the ideas of the series and the archive, with its image increasingly standardized, unlike traditional prints and illustrations. Art suffered under all of this. But in all of this, art was at play.

Tourism Creates and Exploits an Image of the City

The tourist is an inseparable part of the historic city centre. Without the city centre, there is no tourist, and in that centre are the city's monuments. Monuments are there to be seen, but with what eye must one look at these exotic remains? Forming an image offers solutions. This is how you must look. This is what you must feel.

The tourist follows a trajectory from outside to inside the city. In Bruges, initially, this usually took place by boat, on the 'barge' from the Katelijnepoort. Later it was by train, from the Zand: a crucial shift of emphasis. For the tourist, who arrived extra muros, the monument was the beacon that called him in. The monument was his objective, gave his course its direction - a centripetal movement. This was crucial to the strategy of the city's tourist image. It was always from outside to inside, always aimed towards a monument (albeit incidentally noted that the urban movement of the city itself was in fact that the centre was moving out, outside the walls, with its back to the monuments). Even with the monument as his objective, the tourist still needed a guide. This explains the guide in all its forms: as a book, as a person, as city maps for tourists, the 'subtitles' posted in the city itself, and of course, the images. Traditionally printed photographic images can be considered in this function, as guides, in a dual motion of selection and synthesis. The most important are affiliated with just a few monuments - a resume version of the city: reduced, convenient, easily referred to, unequivocal.

Initially, it was the (slow) traveller who dominated. He was well-to-do, and in the true sense of the word, an amateur: someone who travelled to educate himself and build character. It was only at the end of the century that that other profile of the tourist began - swift, staying only briefly, in search of a 'moment of contact' (the 'I-was-here' of the picture postcard that he purchased there, and later, one's own travel photographs). Inside the city, the tourist moreover met professionalized guides (united and accredited by the guide associations) for tours along predetermined routes. However this may be, the real urban development of the city - crucial for its inhabitants and their livelihoods - physically threatened the city centre and brought it into a relative perspective. The guide preferred to be silent on this matter, for the tourist was not interested in the everyday life of the city, only in its utopian specificity. People visited Bruges because and only in as far as it was not interchangeable with other cities, not because it was ultimately a city like all other cities, undergoing the same global modernization.

The images of the city - in the lithographs as well as the photographs - made this same choice: the historic city centre was its exclusive subject. In the case of photography, this seems somewhat surprising, because one might presume an intimate bond between the modernization of the city and the modernization of the image. But the photograph in fact reinforced the view onto the past, not that to the future. The difference between this and the metropolis itself was that there, in the real city, the spectacle of the modernization itself was at the forefront.

The tone of this retrospective city image is 'picturesque'. This was patently true in lithography, but it was also continued in photography. The picturesque is a narrative description, in which a patrimony is dramatically enunciated and focalizeed for strong identification. It was such density as this that the travelling 'amateur' sought. This new lithographic tradition stood far removed from eighteenth-century views, with their wide, multiple panoramas of cities, and resolutely chose accentuated vantage points that made the monument a personality and the observer a participating reader-observer. Photography further advanced this tradition, if with improbable means. The picturesque remained a very literary visual form, almost impossible to translate into the language of detached photographic exposure. Nonetheless, the lithography firms were important producers and sellers of photographic prints. For their makers and their public, the distinction between a print filled with atmosphere and Stimmung and a photograph without people, with high contrast between light and dark, was far less conspicuous than it is for us. The photographer effortlessly took over the visual forms of lithographic tradition.

At the end of the century, the printed card was developed for the tourists. It recycled, reworked and transformed the cities' older photographic patrimony. Old, resold archives and new pictures were now intermingled. The rectangular format of the printed card was not that of the original photograph, and its coloration and text further violated the original images. It is an interesting but impure form. The objective was to give the tourist proof in hand that he had been somewhere, and this had to be efficiently achieved in a single image. A petrifaction of motifs and visual forms was virtually unavoidable. The printed card was a reworking of an emblemization of standard monuments, which now became iconographic blueprints with less and less plastic density and progressively less historical significance. The printed card produced a handful of logos that spoke the language of the day tourist and his greatly reduced ambition of having 'been' there.

Modernization as Mobilization of the City

European cities are, as a rule, historic cities. Their modernization raised the issue of the specific problem of the place (literally and symbolically) that its patrimony was to be accorded. 'Place' is and was scarce. It was under pressure from traffic, from the rational network. Between the monument as ultimate, immobile real estate and the mobility of modernization lies an essential contradiction. There would be no traffic were the monument not there to not attract it. The monument contradicted the future-orientated dynamic, yet was at the same time its cause. The redefined monument became part of the modernization. This incompatibility, consequently, did not hinder the alliance - indeed, it enhanced it.

The tourist preferred to visit a comfortable city, but of course did so because of its old monuments. Heritage is highly valued, because it allows the traveller to experience historic density differently in each city. Patrimony has a recognition function recognition and serves as a mnemo-technical medium, for it is uniquely associated with a single given city and is not interchangeable. It belongs, is at home in the shaping of the identity of the city - for its inhabitants as well as visitors. At the same time, this patrimony is both a physical and a symbolic barrier, a troublesome reminder, a perspective into a past from which people want to escape.

In virtually all European cities at this time, some of these contradictions were disputed and decided on at the expense of their patrimony. Many cities demolished their city walls and filled in their waterways. The city dried out and hardened (it is no coincidence that this was compensated by the imaginary watering-down of the cities in fin the siècle novels and paintings!). But other contradictions were resolved to the benefit of restoration and renovation, with nonetheless repeated crucial and disastrous 'freeing' of the monuments from all their appendages, side buildings and extensions, to create open spaces around them. Cities thus sharpened their contours - again, a new hardening. The complexity of the 'site' was cleared away to make way for a systematically-shaped public square around each monument. Now it was free-standing, devoid of the protective varnish of attached structures. The newly liberated monument was now accessible to the eye of the pedestrian. His mobile eye was the target for the monument clean-up. Cities incorporated this optical issue into their urban development. The city of Bruges fought a successful battle against the modern promenade.

To get a grip on the tension between immovable property and mobility, the city needed to be continually, progressively objectivized. One needed, literally and figuratively, to chart the urban fabric. In addition and in contrast to this, in the nineteenth century, a broadly-branched process of subjectification of the city was set in motion. The city became an organism and a personality. By way of a self-aware sense of 'city beautiful', it became a visual, aesthetic phenomenon. Finally. this subjectification also took place in the development of emphatic vantage points and the sights associated with them. The view showed the city, but did not anchor its standpoint. Lithography and photography increasingly made the vantage point facing a monument a constitutive part of the image, until both pictorialism (take, for example, the image of the Belfort, by H. Berssenbrugge) and interbellum modernism turned that vantage point into a real theme for the image.

The subjectified image therefore stood opposite the objectifying map - painted, etched, lithographed, photographed, finally even filmed. These images fed the imagination, the imaginary quality of the city. In them, one wanted to recognize something, while the city map was about reconnaissance, about knowing. The cityscape places us in the city, while its map places us outside it. The mobility of the tourist generated subjectification of a vantage point, while on the other hand, it made objectification in the mapping of the city unavoidable. The two are in fact closely linked.

Corpus 1: Two Albums: J. O. Delepierre (1837-1840) and V. Daveluy (1866)

These are exceptional albums of photographs. The older one, the Album pittoresque de Bruges (In Bruges, the municipal library and the Steinmetz Cabinet each have a copy), includes a comprehensive text by Joseph Octave Delepierre (1802-1879) and was published by the Bruges print dealer, Joseph Buffa (1801-1864), with illustrations by A. Tessaro, H. Borremans, L. Ghémar and E. Manche. There are 45 plates, spanning two volumes, which in this regal format comprise one of the masterpieces of Belgian printmaking, including cityscapes and reproductions of artworks. The prints were also sold separately.

The fifteen photographs, without text, in the album entitled, Bruges et ses monuments (Bruges and its Monuments, now in the Royal Archives in Brussels), presented in 1886 to King Leopold II by Victor Daveluy (1846-1886), was not a commercial project, but a one-of-a-kind gift. Victor Daveluy was employed in the lithography business run by his father, Edouard Alexis Daveluy (1812-1894) when, just before 1860, he presumably introduced photography into the company, something that was then also taking place in the Buffa firm. It seemed a breakthrough for collodion photography and albumin prints.

A quarter of a century elapsed between the production of these two albums. Their intentions and their techniques cannot be compared. It is this difference that raises questions, compelling us to make the contrast more explicit, after which we can again examine their continuities. However different they may be, both are about the same city and its associated accents. The Buffa project was produced shortly after Belgian independence and was in part nurtured by that enthusiasm. The Daveluy album creates an impression of established self-assurance.

The Album Pittoresque is as important as it is because its accompanying texts weave an entire complete Romanesque culture around its images, so that we all the more poignantly sense the narrative character of the views. In his introduction to a pocket-sized Guide indispensable dans la ville de Bruges (1847), Delepierre wrote, 'Ne foulons pas ainsi d'un pied rapide ces lieux mémorables; nourissons-nous de souvenirs qu'ils peuvent faire naître. C'est le seul moyen pour que le passé ne soit pas perdu pour l'avenir, dans le cœur des citoyens' (p. 11). Against a background of the historic novel (and its spillover into theatre and painting), these phrases, with their pendulous intellectual, emotional and political weight, sound very much of their day. Without being blinded by rhetoric, each word here is heavy with the density of a deeply experienced state of mind.

What is very conspicuous is the iconographic continuity, as if the Album pittoresque had proposed a number of definitive motifs and forms, which later could only be repeated. In contrast to this continuity are the differences between lithography and photography: between a line technique and a zone technique, between image and exposure. The continuum of evolving grey values in the photographs is something quite unlike the accumulative summing-up in lithographic shadowing. Technically, and hence also aesthetically, their images cannot be compared. The lithograph is always a creation of the hand plus imagination, a combination of observation and an 'ideology', while the photograph is the result of a homogeneous process, with a uniform surface. It is not permeated with imagination. It is a registration.

Did these differences weigh through? Sometimes we have the impression that they did not. Until the end of the nineteenth century, photography and printmaking lent one another a helping hand in every possible way, as though they were not competitors, but fellow conspirators in one and the same project: the telling of the world. It was far less the case that the photographs broke away from the techniques and climate that preceded them than that the lithographic print continued to provide the literary agenda for the photographs. We must not look at the photographs as destroyers of the print, but as their continuation.

The New Prestige of Nineteenth-Century Urban Photography

The last quarter of the twentieth century held topographic photography from the nineteenth century in very high esteem. Given its static and descriptive character, it played the ultimate referential role in a conceptual and serial approach to photography. Without psychology (in contrast to portrait photography), without drama (in contrast to journalistic photography), architectural photography became the nerve centre of an aesthetic and intellectual change in photography. (The landscape genre played a comparable role in a reversal in painting a century earlier.) The revelation of the Mission Héliographique in 1850, the American Rephotography Project, by Mark Klett and others, the minimalist style of the Bechers and their students and the Datar project in France, are but a few highlights in a very exciting history of rediscovery and inspiration. The practice of photography itself has often functioned as photography's most convincing critic.

But this late modern (not postmodern) interest has troubled the waters of what was actually at play in nineteenth-century topographic photography. People have accredited it with an objectification that seldom actually played a role, systematically failing to see its narrative foundations. As admiration so often does, it here projected and generated misunderstandings. The problems began with what the new admirers thought the old photographs were recording. The abstracting term, 'topography', indicates what we today think in terms of terrain, instead of in terms of buildings that together form a whole: a public square, a street, a corner. The nineteenth-century photographer knew only a sense-creating unit and combinations that gave the city a personality. The nineteenth-century observer saw a city as a course of monuments united into a coherent profile. Nineteenth-century photography was never the recording of a territory, as it is in today's topographic tradition, but an ode to an architecture or a city. Today's photographer - like the cartographer, in fact - stands outside the fabric of the city he subjugates into an abstract point of view. The nineteenth-century photographer in fact offered an alternative to such objectification: he related, he told, he bound the city into a narrative whole.

This misunderstanding goes as far back as the 1930s, with its critical assessment of Atget and perceived tendency towards anomie, instead of homage to an organic city and its sites. Walter Benjamin in particular made Atget a mediocre photographer, whereas Atget was in fact perhaps the last of the truly visually passionate, intensively able to point out and unravel the soul of a city and a site. The fact that there was more drama in Atget's photographs, even for Benjamin, is suggested by the metaphor with which he described Atget's work: 'places of crime'. Nineteenth-century topographical photographs were too readily interpreted as sober and businesslike. Often, they are lyrical and dramatic.

Any reduction of images to their formal components plays into the hand of this distortion. These beautiful, monumental compositions were in theory seen in terms of the flat plane, certainly not in terms of the monuments photographed. Nineteenth-century photographs, however, were not a formal monologue, but a dialogue. Each was a reading of its subject with the instruments that photography provided. Photographic choices had a specific relationship to their subject. The photographic means were not applied autonomously, but adapted. People have done them an injustice, as if the knowledge of, the insight into, the feelings evoked by landscapes, urban districts, churches and palaces were unimportant to the creation and understanding of these images. People unjustly served them, as though the motif were of minor consideration, just an alibi for a strong image 'in its own right', while the strong image is precisely what offers a means to give form to the relationship to the subject. If the tone of the Delepierre quote sounds old-fashioned and bombastic to us, it was in fact the style in which the photographers and draughtsmen then spoke and thought.

Contemporary topographical photographers do not select the city of patrimony, do not choose 'living' sites with a coherent text. They prefer urban texts that are as unclear as possible. They moreover suggest a conceptual protocol that seems to guarantee neutrality and preclude any interpretative rejoinder. They present their subject; they seem not to react. Nineteenth-century urban photography clearly had nothing to do with this paradoxical, procedural style (in the sense that Evans spoke of a documentary style).

In Archives, Photographs are Documents; In Museums, Photographs are Works

Photographs are collected for two reasons, and rarely do the two paths meet. In municipal archives, they are preserved for their subject matter. In museums of art or photography, they are works in their own right. From the beginning, the latter have seen them from a formalist perspective: the photographer gives form to his image and uses its motif as a reason, as alibi. In the former, they are nostalgically exploited: through the photograph, we can effortlessly find an answer to how things were back then. The museum approach discourages any questioning of the role of the subject in the image, while the archive behaves as though the photograph is nothing more than its subject.

For this nineteenth-century material, both approaches fall short of the mark. The photographer was no abstract, conceptual image-maker. He employed a style as an essential response to a subject. Conversely, he was not a technician for exposures bound by a protocol (as were those employed for legal purposes or scientific photography, as increasingly happened after 1870), but a highly professional individual who thought up images that would do justice to their subject in the spirit of the times. The photographer not only recorded his subject, he also had something to say about it. As a photographer, he had to record while he expressed himself, and in order to record, he needed to speak out - in other words, to design, to give form.

Both types of institution project their own logic onto their material. Municipal archives see the photographer as a note-taker. He made documents. He copied. His guidebooks were technical, his ambition bureaucratic, his ideal a judicial neutrality. He executed. His images were derivatives, not statements. By way of what was taken note of, today's user has direct access to the subject matter. The photography is a time-telescoped reflection of the subject. The museum of photography, on the other hand, is interested in works by creators, not in documentation of subjects. The image now becomes autonomous at the expense of the thing portrayed, with form at the expense of subject matter. Form thus becomes the possession of the image, not something that thought up an image for a subject. Subject as an incidental alibi for virtuosity in form is in fact a very meagre aesthetic. Only when we see the form at work in relation to an object - a city or a building - do we achieve a suitable appreciation: as a form for something else, as true design.

If municipal archives irrevocably invite a too local, almost homely attention to photographs, the museum presents a permanent invitation to see the photographs as abstract form. But it was the photographer who was speaking, and he was speaking about something. His images refer to a subject, but do so in a manner that articulates a relationship to that subject. Photographs not only documented the factual characteristics of their theme, but were expressions of a specific relationship to the city and its architecture. They are unavoidably the product of a mentality. These urban images refer not only to facts, but to a way of reading those facts. Facts are constructions of a juncture in time. The Belfort was the same material for Daveluy as it was for Berssenbrugge half a century later, but each gave it a completely different meaning. Photographs of architecture and city sights were never just technical products, but always also stylistic responses. Their style can be poor and naïve or rich and complex, but it is never absent. Scientific photographs were conceived within procedures, architectural photographs were not. Decisions were steered by the spirit of the times, by the fashions and tastes of a period, sometimes by the personality of a photographer, but not by a protocol. There is always that inevitable literary moment of the interpretation of a subject. Without that, there is no standpoint, no vantage point for the camera, no focus, no choice of the moment of registration. These images unavoidably record more than the mere material condition of the monument. They record the spirit of the times that enveloped it. What did photographers want to point out in their pictures, to show, to raise forth? What were they looking at, and what were they looking for?"

Bringing to light this contrast in the photographs themselves enriches our perception of them in an essential way. An outspoken understanding of these pictures allows us to unravel a history of the way a city was perceived. It is our ambition to charge these nineteenth-century images with all the intellectual and aesthetic energy of their time, for the history of a city is also a history of the way it is perceived. What role did photography play in this perception?

What people think of a city is self-evidently expressed in how they envision that city. How people think of a city shines through the image. Here, we give the photographer and his image the largest possible role: photography is capable of thinking, of forming thoughts, of explicitly placing itself within the thought processes of an environment and responding to it. Photography and photographers did substantially 'think' their subject. They presented their subject 'as thought'. The hypothesis of a 'thinking' photography is the first matter of importance.

To understand the thinking of these photographs, one must, as it were, think along with them, through them. This is the door to a true feeling for the photographic media. At the same time, it is essential to also understand the thinking of the time, where the city was concerned, in order to correctly assess the photographic image. People took photographs within that thinking, never outside it.

A Few Theses

Old photographs do not exist

Nineteenth-century urban photography is not old. It is very current and alive. It shows us things from the past, but it does not age. We can distinguish no essential difference between the oldest and the most recent photographs: always, it concerns the same technique, one that was 'finished', right from the start. From its inception, everything was already said. Photography's countless later refinements are technical complications that transport us away from the core of the issue. At most, a history of photographic techniques is about questions of detail. Old photographs do not exist. Technique piles all photographs onto one another in a single great synchronicity. Nostalgia for 'old photographs' is not relevant here. On the contrary, we are examining the strength of their continuing relevance.

Photographs generate effects that can scarcely be expressed in words, partly because their eye-opening conclusions go hand in hand with an evocative strength we can only describe as magical. This magic also makes photography so difficult to manage: we don't know what to do with it. Its power to move is as great as its banality, its power to convince as illusory as it is unavoidable. The attention that photographs generate is as brief as it is intense. The value they produce in a lifetime is as non-existent as their charm is great. In short, photography renders infantile. Photography is a touching, regressive phenomenon. In any case, its future is assured.

The unclear role of photography

Nineteenth-century urban photography generated no oeuvres that formulated a new definition of the city: no Notre Dame de Paris (Hugo), no Gare Saint-Lazare (Monet), no fantastic city (Meryon), no apocalyptic city (Doré's London). Photography's contribution seems non-existent. Photography followed, it guided, it adapted. Its role was supportive. It did not give direction. It proposed nothing new, but confirmed the dominant convictions of the various actors: the architects, tourists and policymakers. Its role was at once immense and secondary: immense because it consistently produced convincing arguments, secondary because it had arguments for all the actors at once.

In a century of great visionary projects and ambitions, photography was the great non-presence. It sooner heralded the disappearance of the visionary. One could already see how photography - like all later media - had a confirming and tautological effect and nothing more, yet how it was also nothing less than an endless mechanism for repetition. From this young, modern medium, one would expect a strategic role within the overall tendency to modernize. This technical instrument, however, seems to have effortlessly coupled itself onto other disciplines. The sobriety of the reproductive images should have supported a rationalization of the city. With further investigation, that sympathy between new technique and modern city was in any case not a simple one. Indeed, the new technique seemed more often to disguise the modernization of the city than to underscore it. Photography seems to have been more in the service of historic nostalgia than of any prospective utopia. It was a modern medium in the service of the past, a technique that easily confirmed clichés, but it was not in a position to articulate a strong vision of its own: an anonymous technique that was alone in being able to comprehend the present; a document permeated with subtle interpretations; a coarse technique that could only be revealed though aesthetic sensibility. Photography was a confusing intersection, not a clearly delineated trajectory.

Photography's position was surprisingly unclear. Possibly complex, possibly also banal and trivial: it had not a strategic, but a misleading and counterproductive place in the issues of the city. This position is all the more difficult to research because there is always a kind of overwhelming of the viewer on the part of the photograph. The image is so massive that the idea of the photograph playing a weak and unclear role, full of negative ambiguity, seems so unlikely. What in fact transpired was precisely this unlikelihood.

The unstable photograph

Photographs were in principle unstable. They could be employed at many levels by distribution firms and read at yet more levels by their specialized and non-specialized audiences. The photographs themselves seldom impress their own uniqueness of form on visitors to an archive. Often nameless and undated, at first viewing they are a very uniform mass. On further acquaintance, nineteenth-century photography is very diverse. Images can have very different atmospheres and offer varied interpretations of their subjects. At the same time, pinpointing these differences proves no easy task. .

Sometimes it seems a question of nationality. The British, French, German and Italian schools differed fundamentally. Sometimes it seems purely a technical question, of exposure times, exposure and printing procedures. Then again, one could convincingly argue that the nature of the assignment played a determining role. A commercial business allied to tourism (such as the printed card industry) would produce different images than a photographer working closely with architects. Sometimes it seems as though everything could be explained in terms of broad cultural tendencies, such as a romantic, Romanesque, as opposed to a symbolic, poetic vision, or a documentary, businesslike vision. Sometimes one succeeds in reading the differences as running parallel to the movements of (canonized) art history, but then again, there the impression that photographic styles did not succeed one another in a linear manner, but cyclically relieved another (as does fashion). Often, the photographs seem no more than a virtual form that only convincingly suggests a certain interpretation in the context of a specific use, to then immediately underscore a completely different argument. All of this creates specific difficulties for the researcher: what can be read in images that so rarely seem forceful, yet seem to legitimize so much? (What thinking, if indeed it is thinking, comes into play in these photographs?)

Photography: a steering mechanism

Photography is an object-correlated imprinting of light. In this context, people ascribe photographs with objectivity. This means that each photograph is a mass, pure optical-chemical matter, a block of compact formlessness: billions of invisible grains of silver, thousands of visible details on which we never concentrate. Such mass cannot be dealt with from the inside out, but have to be approached from the outside. The image mass is itself unformed: it literally allows itself to be guided by coordinates and parameters. Both the placement and the aim of the camera and the development and printing of the photograph are not to be seen as formative interventions, but as direction. A vehicle driving around with a load of sand does nothing to change that sand, it just moves it. Every photograph in fact carries around its own load of silver granules, in order to externally steer them. Each photograph is an image mass (not an image organization) subject only to global, mass treatment. Taking photographs is the operation of equipment according to a procedure - something quite distinct from creating form. In photography, it is about statistical treatment. Its knowledge is more mathematical than manual.

Guidance mechanisms come into play when the units with which people have to work are too small, too large or too numerous - in other words, when you are confronted with mass. Still, the guidance of that mass is the distinction between form and formlessness. Steering adds energy to mass. It is also literally a physical process: carrying and aiming a piece of equipment, manipulation conducted in the darkroom. Without our paying due attention to the nano-weights inherent to photography, its essence will escape us.

It is thus important to find the interface between the physical guidance and the guided mass. A purely informative approach to researching photographs is like a border patrol examining the contents of a container, while purely formalist readings, like a roadside vehicle check, just investigate the flexibility of the equipment. Photography in fact forces us to place ourselves in the common ground shared by the two, in the external connection of mass and steering. We must arrive at the physical moment when the reins (coordinates, muscles) sling around that mass, like arms gripping a cabinet. The steering system of photography, all too susceptible to formal interpretation, needs also to be understood in its bodily, sensual nuances.

About the Material: the Documents

From the end of the nineteenth century, city archival collections have primarily mechanically printed cards to offer. This is influential material in forming an image of the rise of mass tourism, but very distorting in terms of the intentions of the photographer. Too many photographic ambitions were swept aside by the printing, the format, the printers' graphic interventions. Nonetheless, these cards were the most important source for the emergence of the late nineteenth century's, nostalgic city albums.

These printed cards provided a new element in shaping the image of the nineteenth-century city. Here, for the first time, local inhabitants appeared in a self-evident fashion. Citizens, the proletariat, uniformed and richly adorned ladies reflected the circumstances of the individual purchasing the cards. Both - the person illustrated and the purchaser - traversed the same urban decor. This animation of the hitherto so silent city scene created a radical shift in the balance between monuments and their surroundings. The old urban photography was now fading away. What would later come to be known as street photography was already making its appearance.

In the archives, what are in fact photographic prints are overwhelmingly isolated, undated and anonymous documents - the leftovers of that unending catastrophe that seems to be photography's lot. There are no broken blocks, but grains, entirely lacking the graphic whole of the larger photograph - an archaeological site where now and then, a few images seems to pass one another by. Together, they form a diffuse ensemble in which people can make tallies, but from which it is very difficult to draw connections. Average images cling to one another, forming a collective norm, a quantitatively expressed preference for a motif. In addition, each image is there for its own sake, ready to be admired for its formal characteristics, for its composition, its light. Alas, there is no context that can fill in that appreciative assessment, no biography to open these perspectives.

Very small groups of pictures were brought together into portfolios or albums. These ensembles held a strategic position. They formed a collected whole, a closed photographic text: precisely these motifs, in this order. Alongside the characteristics of each separate image, there was now a sequential logic. A certain mentality of the city was expressed in the selections and their sequence. Each picture corrected the one before it and provided a literary context. The fifteen Daveluy photographs in the Royal Archive album in Brussels, the twenty-five - unfortunately cut out and unnumbered - photographs taken from the anonymous Bruges - Promenades d'un Amateur-Photographe album, in the collection of the Bruges Municipal Archives, and the Emilio Anriot (1826-?) album, with a broad, coherent section devoted to Bologna (in the Biblioteca dell' Archiginnasio in Bologna) are the rare entities that articulate a photographic, printed perspective of cities.

Along with these completed ensembles, the archives also have the 'open' series', a few dozen editions put on the market by some known or unknown firm. These do not form completed narratives, but they are a clear stylistic whole. Their sequence is numerical, not about content. These series' were a commercial offering, not an attempt to provide any coherent, broadly constructed photographic interpretation of a city. In the first place, I think of the images produced by Neurdein, of Paris, and those by G.H. Productions, an abbreviation for Gustave Hermans. I also think of the beautiful work produced by Pietro Poppi (1833-1914) and his Fotografia dell'Emilia (in the Cassa di Risparmio archives, in Bologna). Here, a commercial enterprise spoke as a collective voice in the service of an anonymous tourist market. Other series' were produced as official commissions, such as those by Alexander Simays (in the Maastricht city archives) and Alfons Watteyne (in the Bruges archives). Both of these are inventories. I think of the Bertinazzi portfolio in the mobiletto at the Cineteca in Bologna, a series of photographs devoted to the far-reaching renovations of the Via Farini in Bologna just before 1870.

It is precisely this serial (a-syntagmatic) quality that would fascinate late twentieth-century photographers, printmakers and theorists, more than their completed (syntagmatic) literary value. The series did not propose any future completion, and was therefore not an argument, made no value judgements, no declaration by photographic means, but maintained a consistent distance from its urban and architectural information. Today, this bureaucratic indifference seems to be more fundamentally photographic and graphic than an engaged argument.

The growing perfection of mechanical printing of photographs not only made the printed card explosion possible, but it also gave photography a completely new podium in architectural magazines. Periodical publications proved the ultimate player in the system that commissioned photographers. They were a player, moreover, that fundamentally rewrote the rules. No longer were there merely urban views (good for tourism), for the focus was now the photography of architecture. In these often stunning photographs, in the Belgian magazine, L'Emulation, for example, in portfolios by the Antwerp firm, Jos Maes (1838-1908), in the Historische Städtebilder album by Gurlitz, it was no longer a narrative, historic consciousness that was doing the thinking, but the structure of the typological investigation: not synthesis, but analysis and fragmentation. Here, the photographed and printed subject is a preparatory study on the architect's drawing board, in the thought process of a design studio, no longer the thought process of a city itself. Photography here became an instrument of a scientific approach, no longer the echoing storyteller. A building, moreover, was no longer unique, but was now a model. The confusing density of urbanity disappeared irretrievably in these majestic dissections, intended as grandiose homage to architecture.

Professional Structure for the Makers

Nineteenth-century photography was a slow, labour-intensive, expensive activity. With each and every image, it presumed a far greater awareness on the part of its producers than is required today. The images were for a small, elite audience, with both the photographers and their public allied to commercial, political and cultural powers. They practised a new profession, were by nature progressive. One often finds them in the common ground shared by art, culture and commerce: that of the publishers, the printmakers, printers and art dealers. They were not merely implementers, dependent subcontractors, but participants in the intellectual and political life of their day. Their profession may well have been practised locally, but they often changed location, within their own countries, but also in other countries, in search of better positions. There is therefore every reason to presume that they knew the cities they worked in very well indeed, from a well-placed social position. At the same time, they also knew the working terrain beyond their cities and outside their countries. One can assume that these photographers had indeed truly seen what they photographed and were in general well aware of what was out there to be photographed and printed. This entire framework changed only towards the end of the century, when photography came to be practised by amateurs (frequently in the very best sense of the word) who were free of commercial ambitions, and when it became possible to produce the printed card and its photographs so that anyone could purchase it.

In today's archives, we find the ultimately touristic image for private only produced after World War I. This was photography about a visit, not about the city visited. It is a photography as close as possible to a form of parade, showing off, not to be seen as a commission, but as a guiding reflex. As a result, in the 1920s, an entirely new kind of city appeared: seen from the pavement, via familiar routes, from the tour boats. In all these images, there is a typical delight, but without the insight of old-fashioned 'tourism'. One travelled to look, but did not know what he was looking at. In place of that background knowledge came entirely new qualities: the charm of the companion, the coincidence of the moment, the joy of the visit.

The nineteenth century itself predominantly experienced the photographer as the producer and manufacturer of the work. They invested in equipment with an eye to a return on that investment. The images concurred with those of the extant engraving industry. That in turn revolved around the well-heeled and informed traveller. Knowing the monuments of foreign cities was a question of proper education and upbringing. These photographers wrote an official version of the city, embracing a certain noblesse oblige and fundamental respect.

These same small businesses also received official commissions - from national governments, from the cities, and later from architects and magazines. Here, there was not only mastery of the printing craft (as in the images for the travellers' market), but the presentation of true masterpieces. The commission structure moreover implicitly determined the basic relationship: the photographer had to provide an ode to that pictured in the photograph. It was no longer the education of the traveller that mattered, but a tribute to the purpose of the assignment. Where photographic prints for travellers appeared in copious quantities, commissioned photographs were only produced in small numbers. These images did not aspire to a wide audience, but they did aspire to an intense focus on the motif and the way it was read.

Photographers who worked for the elite traveller united technical craft with strong visual consciousness. They joined high social esteem with professional competence. The one could not be separated from the other, did not preclude the other, but embraced it. Photography therefore fit into the array of applied arts (rather than the autonomous arts, as they are called today), of the techniques in which artistic skill created added value. It established a precarious alliance with the elite as well as with the wider market, with prestige as well as popularity. It took advantage of the modes of the day and undoubtedly also cast an eye beyond national borders. In the way that they applied a young and rapidly evolving technique, people took advantage of every opportunity to win honour as well as earning a living. Each photograph was a fragile balance between contradictory powers. In every image, the momentum of these forces was so far not a stable practice of predictable tasks. On the contrary, each image was a characteristically bourgeois sign of an uncertain self-confidence. These prestigious images are in a position comparable neither to the stability of the printed card industry nor the self-assurance of the experiment of post-war modernism.

Several of these businesses grew into international enterprises. They hired photographers who remained anonymous and were sent out to other countries to take pictures that would in turn be sold internationally. The Florentine firm of Alinari was one of the crucial players in the field of art reproduction, urban photography and documentary assignments. Firms such as these functioned somewhat the way television stations do today. They often had a more or less recognizable company style and worked within a stable visual standard. The same logic applied to Neurdein, G.H (Gustave Hermans) and Fotografia dell' Emilia. Their work was evidence of a refined sensitivity to urban complexities, as might interest the tourist of their day. Their visual 'databanks' strove to achieve reliable respectability, seriousness and uniformity within the vocabulary of the popular dictionnaires.

Finally, the end of the century saw that new form of photography: the work of private, amateur photographers who possessed technical command of their medium and pursued their ambitious images and series' not from the perspective of the temporary, transient traveller, but as residents showing off a city they loved. This was someone who did not take photographs with a mind to educate, but to articulate experience. It was now not the city as such, but our relationship to the city that mattered. Considerable technical agility and flexibility were required to give shape to that very impressionistic sensibility. The audience for such projects as these was a confidential one: the family, the photography club, a select group of friends. But the result, as in the anonymous Bruges - Promenades d'un Amateur-Photographe, is unspectacular yet magical poetry.

Corpus 2: The Neurdein Albumin Prints

The Parisian firm, Neurdein, whose collection was purchased by Roger-Viollet, Rue de Seine, produced numerous photographs in Bruges. They are easy to recognize by the text in white at the bottom of the image: a number, place name, subject and the N.D. abbreviation. The Antwerp Museum of Photography and the Bruges Municipal Archives sometimes have the same photographs in two versions: in large formats with the number '100', and in small, sometimes slightly cropped versions, with the number '200'. (George Rodenbach made use of this Neurdein material for his broad photographic illustrations for the first printing of Bruges-la-Morte.)

These beautiful, razor-sharp albumin prints were the apex in commercial photography for travellers. If the canonized city views seem to have the Delepierre album (which in turn relied on other references) as their starting point, they all seem to have culminated in the Neurdein series. These are stately, almost all horizontal images, in which a panoramic sense of overview dominates the portrait format set up around the monuments. The idea of an urban whole thus makes an emphatic entrance, the city as the sum of entities (as in Daveluy, with primarily vertical images of monuments). The Neurdein images do not acknowledge any individual examples, but primarily express a sense of the ensemble. It is clear that the photographers introduced no hierarchy into their images, nor did they apply unusual accents in their collections. Because of this, there is a certain indifference running through the series, equal treatment of all monuments in their urban setting. A Bruges inhabitant would b unable to repress a greater involvement, while the Neurdien photographer had no bias to burden him. He sought the ideal combination of the monuments he was required to record and the environments that surrounded them. For the photographer and his client, the sensation of the unknown environment he discovered was an essential part of the monument itself. It was no longer a central point as a crystallization of local history, but the impressionistic, total impression of the many reverberations created together by monuments and the homes of a city's inhabitants.

In the older images by Daveluy, Fierlandts and Goethals, we are struck by a kind of gnarly quality. Compared with the melodious charm of the Neurdein images, they seem to be awkward pictures produced in a posture of stiff-eyed greeting. The Neurdein images were produced from the point of view of the belle époque. The patina of the city and the image is elegant, sharp, even a touch cynical. The atmosphere is not nationalistic, but cosmopolitan. The photographer was not wrestling with either his technique or his subject. A somewhat nonchalant self-awareness of the technical and visual perfection is clearly conspicuous. So it seems that one can photograph all the cities of the world this way. It is photographic standardization, but at the highest level. It again offers the city as a décor (the way the world expositions presented them, to then let them disappear).

In this series, Bruges presented itself as the ultimate theatrical fantasy, far removed from the intellectual adventure of those who were restoring it, the conservative, particularistic defenders of a Flemish style. The Neurdein images move through all this with a purely aesthetic and formal sensitivity to the city as an effect in its own right. In these images, Bruges is an abstraction, an international fantasy, more the extension of French bathing spas than the bastion of a British catholic revival.

In a subsequent contribution:

Bruges and the Restoration, With a Close Reading of a few Photographic Ensembles

This study has been made possible thanks to support from the Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. Special thanks go to André Vandewalle, head of the Municipal Archive and my partner in dialogue in Bruges; to Jan Dhondt, Bruges City Archivist; Marc Rykaert, of the Province of West Flanders; Willy Muylaert of the Municipal Library; Brigitte Beernaert of Monumentenzorg (the Belgian National Trust); Dries Vandenbroucke of Erfgoedcel. For their assistance, I also thank Gustaaf Janssens of the Royal Archives in Brussels; Marc Vausort of the Charleroi Museum of Photography; Angela Trommellini, conservator of the photography collection of the Cineteca di Bologna; Ingrid Evers, of the Municipal Archives in Maastricht; and Pool Andries, of the Museum of Photography in Antwerp.

Dirk Lauwaert

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