Elisabeth Tonnard

Voor het ideaal in De Groene Amsterdammer

Alfred Schaffer recently reviewed my book Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal. See below, where this post continues in Dutch.

De reeksen in Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal lopen thematisch en stilistisch sterk uiteen, maar steeds is de taal nauwkeurig en het geheel is op prettige wijze raadselachtig. Reeksen als ‘De kiezelstenen’ (met onder andere een adembenemend gedicht over het begraven van een duif), ‘Parachutisten’, ‘Zeilen’, ‘De bergen zijn grijs, de zee is groen’ en ‘Coniferen’ kan ik blijven herlezen. Zorgvuldig geformuleerd, zonder vet aan de randen. […]

Al lezend vergat ik de techniek en de eventuele teksten die wel of niet achter deze bundel schuilgaan. De authenticiteit zit in de kijkrichting, in de respectvolle selectie en schikking van het materiaal. Daar zit het gevoel, om het klef te zeggen. Gelukkig is poëzie geen veredeld potje quizzen – het gaat om het plezier van de tekst. Dat plezier is hier volop te vinden.

Zie de volledige bespreking, die verscheen in De Groene Amsterdammer van 29 maart hieronder (klik op de afbeelding om te vergroten).


Online verscheen ook een recensie door Ernst Jan Peters, deze trof onder andere “Achterbergiaanse ontmoetingen” in het boek aan. Zie Meander magazine.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

March 30, 2018 at 2:35 pm

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Maribor photobook award


In this Dark Wood won one of the two runner-up awards in the Maribor photobook award 2018 which focused on books of the last decade broadly related to the theme of ‘Picturing life: the new world order and the artist’s position in it’.

First prize went to Andreas Frei for his book Hab Acht. Max Pinckers received the other runner-up award with Margins of Excess. The jury members were Tanja Lažetić, Marina Paulenka, Calin Kruse, Andrew Phelps and Iza Pevec.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

March 13, 2018 at 11:37 am

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Exhibitions in Gent and Marseille

I’m participating in two exhibitions opening this month.


FLIP — About Image Construction is curated by Kasper Andreasen and opened last week in Gent. Several of my books from the collection of KASK are on view. FLIP is the sequel to the exhibition Copy Construct held at CC Mechelen in 2017. The exhibition focuses on displaying a temporary archive of artists’ books parallel to about a dozen filmic works.
More information about the show is available here.
Location: Zwarte Zaal, KASK, Gent.
Dates of the exhibition: 2 – 22 March 2018.

PANORAMA 1: Tous les jours, je me dis qu’il ne faut pas que je craque is curated by Frac Provence, Alpes, Côte d’Azur and opens on March 9 in Marseille.
My book The Lovers will be on view.
More information about the show is available here.
Dates of the exhibition: March 10 – June 3.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

March 6, 2018 at 2:24 pm

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De wolk in de Volkskrant

Arjan Peters from De Volkskrant wrote about my book De wolk, see the article below. This book, a cloud of text and white space that can be read in different directions, combines twelve poems of P. C. Boutens in such a way that they semi-automatically write new poems.

In de Volkskrant van 3 februari signaleert Arjan Peters De wolk als fluisterzachte opwekking van de geest van Boutens. Klik op de afbeelding voor een vergroting.

Beschikbaar via de boekwinkel of hier.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

February 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm

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Invitation exhibition Unboxing Photographs

For those in Berlin, here is the invitation to the opening of the show ‘Unboxing Photographs’ that I will have work in at the Kulturforum/Kunstbibliothek. Hope to see you there.


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

February 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Exhibition Unboxing Photographs

I’m developing a new installation titled More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms. The work will be exhibited at the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, from February 16 to May 27 as part of the show ‘Unboxing Photographs: Work in the Photo Archive’.

More about this show below or follow this link. For those of you in Berlin: the opening will take place at the Kunstbibliothek on February 15.

More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms consists of 18 different series of found used postcards in which each series is based on the same photograph. There are 18 different photographs but together nearly 100 different postcards in the installation. The cards in each series show slight visual differences; the color is changed by age or by variations/manipulations in the print runs, sometimes there are signs visible of how the card went through the mail system or was tacked to a wall. The photos are the same, the actual objects and the meaning they had for the senders and receivers are not. The installation is completed by texts in four languages drawn from the backs of the postcards.

About the exhibition ‘Unboxing Photographs’

The exhibition opens the boxes of four photo archives to showcase the material diversity of photographs as three-dimensional objects: from glass plate negatives, to 35 mm film, to prints on albumin or silver gelatin paper. These photo-objects are taken in the hand, tilted and turned over, labeled, cut down, framed, glued into albums, printed, and dispatched or posted online. Contact and inventory sheets, cardboard mounts, card catalogs, and today even display screens are integral parts of the photo-object, or even constitute it.


Window with cutout image
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Since the 19th century, archaeologists, ethnologists, and art historians have worked with photographs and assembled them in archives. There, they are processed and ordered – and only through such treatment do they become usable as documents for scholarly research. These procedures alter the physical properties of photographs and leave behind material traces. Photographs, hence, are neither objective nor timeless. By taking them seriously as objects, and not just as pictures, it becomes possible to tell their multifarious stories.

The exhibition interrogates the commonly practiced and disciplinary conventions that govern the perception and presentation of photographs – for example museum display using passepartouts – and tries out new design possibilities. Work with photo-objects is also central to the artistic interventions of JUTOJO, Ola Kolehmainen, Joachim Schmid, Elisabeth Tonnard, and Akram Zaatari, all of which have been integrated into the exhibition.


Vase with Corsini-Medici coat of arms
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

January 11, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Book fair at Paradiso in Amsterdam

On Sunday December 10 I’m participating in the Beurs van Bijzondere Uitgevers at Paradiso in Amsterdam. You’ll find the table that I am sharing with Wil van Iersel in the main room.

Books on the table will include De wolk, An Empty Field, The Plan, and The Death of the Poet.

Het balanseer will be at the fair as well, with Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal.

Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam

13.00 – 17.00

Admission is €3,-

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

December 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm

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