In the last years of his life Ed van der Elsken worked on what should have been his audiovisual magnum opus: Tokyo Symphony. The installation was meant to be his homage to Japan – a land that had embraced him personally as well as a photographer and author.
The installation was never finished due to his early death at age 60. It was thought that the collection of 1,600 images, which is currently stored at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, was all that remained of this ambitious project. In 2007, researcher Frank Ortmanns discovered five audiotapes belonging to the project. Fascinated by this missing piece of the puzzle, Ortmanns approached Paradox to discuss the possibility of posthumously realizing Tokyo Symphony. Taking into account Van der Elsken’s fascination with AV technology, it was concluded that a contemporary approach to this installation would be most appropriate. In other words: to make an installation as if Van der Elsken were still alive.
Frank Ortmanns (curator) // Peter Claassen (editing + post) // Mark Glynne (sounddesign) // Jeroen de Vries (exhibition design) // Susanne Schanz (retouching)