The imaginary Friend / the book

The Imaginary Friend is a story divided into fourteen chapters and is about hope, longing and demise, with the panoramic entrance over the river De Nieuwe Maas as the setting, before the railway tunnel was put into use.

The Imaginary Friend depicts a dream of a young woman who in the early eighties commutes every morning by train, across the Maas bridges on the Dordrecht-Rotterdam route. She passes the ruins of an abandoned bridge keeper’s tower and dreams that a friend lives there who gives color to the gray days. She decides to bring him to life. Under her hands and those of sculptor Stuart Smith of Madame Tussauds, the person Von Tuzzi (‘Fantasy’) takes shape and his existence can be followed very closely by the train passengers.
Because the passengers only have a ‘shutter speed’ of seven seconds in passing, their perception is fragmented, and they never know exactly what they have seen. Supplemented with their own imagination and dreams, the image emerges of an eccentric hermit in a ‘folly’ on the river Maas, who briefly shakes the travelers awake from their lethargy and thus stimulates the surreal life.

The Polaroids are made by the young writer Pieter van Oudheusden, who, like a paparazzo, appears to have captured the enigmatic inhabitant of the tower. This previously unseen material was recently released, and Bob Goedewaagen’s digital processing and enlargement of a selection of these photos has surprisingly created an entirely new visual story that is as poignant and elusive as the poetic images that passed by the train travelers at the time.

Polaroids: Pieter van Oudheusden
Project and stills: Anne Mieke Backer.

Digital Photography: Bob Goedewaagen

Design: Jeremy Jansen
Bilingual edition/Tweetalige uitgave Engels/Nederlands

€ 49,90

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