Not all photographic books include a credit for the processing laboratory. This one does, and with good reason: these photographs are of an alienating beauty and it is unquestionably due to the superior quality of the prints.
The photos were taken in the port of Amsterdam. They are intriguing because of their poetic, almost poignant approach to the kind of shop floor that is becoming more and more invisible in the Netherlands: the world of old-fashioned, tough man’s work. The photographers bring on the men themselves as if they were figures in Rembrandt paintings. The colour palette is wonderfully beautiful. Each pose is set in an almost filmic setting of sheds, site offices and changing-rooms. The worker as hero, no more, no less.
The book itself is neutral and restrained: all the attention has been lavished on the illustrations. And, as we have seen more than once recently, here again the text is kept separate from the pictures. The book opens with a few pages of brief musings which can be torn off along a line of perforations in the gutter. What remains is an exhibition without commentary.