Photo book / Full color, Limited edition, Design by Mariken Wessels / 2012

He was there


He was there explores the anthropology of a man in his own reality. In a voyeuristic way Wessels observes and captures a man while he is unpacking his suitcase. The book investigates and plays with the voyeurism characteristic, with the man eventually provoking the beholder. Who is watching whom? And where does it take place, in a park maybe or a zoo?

He was there is a published as a concertina folding. It represents a timeline that unfolds to 9 meters in length. The book is presented in a box.

Specifications of the photo book:
He was there / 2012 (concept 2006)
Concept and design Mariken Wessels
Dimensions 24 cm x 33 cm
Unfolds to 9 meters in length
Concertina folding in a handmade box
Limited edition
Signed / numbered
Full color 

Also available is a special edition of the photo book including a signed, numbered print.

The book can be purchased directly from the artist and at a selection of book shops world wide soon. See the links page for more info on the book shop. 


Dutch photographer Mariken Wessels is one of this librarians go-tos when a patron asks for a recommendation. This is her fifth book, published in 2012 titled: He Was There. This limited edition book (our copy is also signed!) published as a concertina folding but (as most of Wessels books) the design elements are both aesthetic and extend the narrative of the book. The concertina style allows this book to expand out to almost 30 feet long, evoking film strips or a diagramed timeline. In the book, the viewer is approximately 30 feet from the subject, a man unpacks a suitcase and crawls on the floor. The relationship to the subject is mysterious: is this work staged? What is the man doing? Is he aware he is being observed? What is the nature of this performance? In the final panels of the series, the man holds up a pink blanket (like a bullfighter) and drops it to the ground. Mariken came to the ICP library in 2016 and spoke with us about her work and left a certain staff member quite struck. Come by to see all of Mariken Wessels fantastic photobooks! . @icplibrary @marikenwessels #photobook #photobookjousting #icp

A post shared by 10x10 Photobooks (@10x10photobooks) on Sep 5, 2017 at 5:50pm PDT