Book: North Journal

In 2016 I embarked on a solo motorbike journey from Rotterdam to the North Cape in the far north of Norway. Due to an electrical failure that I was unable to remedy on the spot, I was forced to return while only being in the south of Norway. After the necessary work on my Harley Davidson (oldest part: Springer front fork from 1948, youngest part: homemade seat from 2017 made from the leather of an old horse saddle) I made a second attempt in May 2017 to drive to the farthest possible point in the cold north of Europe. In the right hand saddlebag, just above the open exhausts, was my library with Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet as the most important book.

The Book of Disquiet, “An Autobiography Without Facts” as Pessoa himself called it, was first published in Portuguese in 1982, 47 years after his death. It is a timeless universe in which the description of thoughts takes central stage. He describes his environment and perceptions, dreams and landscapes and muses about the contradictions between dream and reality, the soul and the mind. Pessoa worked twenty years on the book which was unfinished when he died. What he left behind was a trunk full of disordered fragments on loose sheets of paper, old envelopes, bills, and other ephemera.

By reading a few pages each morning before departure, my own thoughts and observations along the way were influenced by Pessoa’s thoughts. With North Journal I tried to translate this experience into something tangible. The choice for my photos was guided by a number of text from the book and by printing them on all kinds of different types of photo paper (gelatine silver prints), some recent, some very old, I refer to the fragmented and incomplete nature of the The Book of Disquiet, which is essentially the spirit of Fernando Pessoa.

North Journal is a softcover, full colour book consisting of 80 pages, 46 photographs and texts in Dutch and English. The book is pamphlet bound by hand in an edition of 180 copies and 20 special editions that come in a bookcase with an original 20 x 27 cm (8″x10″ appr.)  gelatine silver print. Publisher: Rensomatic Publications, 1st edition, ISBN 978-90-9032199-8.
Price €40,- and €350,- for the Special Edition (12 left), ex. postage.
If you are interested, please contact me here.