Book of the Week #2: Erik Van der Weijde / Der Baum

Erik van der Weijde, Der Baum I wrote about Erik van der Weijde's eclectic publishing activities before over on eyecurious books etc. The title of his latest book,  Der Baum (The Tree), is taken from Der Baum im Bildde der Landschaft, a 1931 photobook published as part of a series which aimed to "provide cheap educational tools for the uneducated masses." Most of these trees are anonymous, identified only by their location...  on a parking lot in Sao Paulo or a Burger King in Nürnberg. There are three that get a little more detailed identification, the cover, which turns out to be the tree on the street where the young girl Natasha Kampusch was held as a prisoner for 8.5 years, and the opening and closing image of the book which refer to Adolf Hitler... Van der Weijde is never shy of a little provocation and although I'm not sure you will learn anything about trees as such from this book (no matter how uneducated you are), you will definitely learn a thing or two about how they can be photographed. The images are understated, distant, muted, some even a little muddy even, but the strength of the book for me is how these trees all seem to acquire quite different personalities by being brought together in this way. A fascinating cast of characters, Hitler or no Hitler.

Update: Book of the week is moving to eyecurious books etc. Look out for new picks there!

As a bonus, Erik has even been good enough to provide us with a little video preview if you fancy seeing a bit more.