While the female is breeding the man has taken its observation post.

While the female is breeding the man has taken its observation post. 

Amsterdam 02-04-22

Dear Andreas Nimmerdor,

After watching a documentary about a well-known photographer, I decided to send you one more letter. The documentary follows a photographer and his wife, travelling through the United States and taking pictures for his book. The trip simultaneously functions as their honeymoon. And she functions as his researcher, his assistant, his wife. She expertly lights every picture.

Though I am an admirer of his work, before watching the documentary I never knew of her existence. After watching it I went looking for her, carefully examining his book. However, she was only mentioned in the margins. One name, out of many.

Who does not know the saying: “behind every successful man there is a strong woman”. A notion that feels antiquated to me, but proves to be anything but that.

You know where this is going. Your fame is rising and your podcast, that I secretly think of as our podcast, is hitting the charts in the Apple podcast app. Anyone listening to: Dear Dr. A. can hear how you philosophise about me possibly being a mediocre artist. Something I fear you might be right about.

Why complain? After all, I did give you my archive, my investigation into Dr. A. out of free will. Even asking you to finish the project.

What I could not have foreseen and what I was not prepared for, is that I went from maker and researcher to subject.

In other ways you also helped me.

I was left with two missing pieces in the case of Dr. A. Preoccupied by them, not able to move beyond looking for these concrete facts.

First thing I wanted to trace down was the collection of artefacts Dr. A.’s son in law Jack sold at Christie’s. I spent night after night in Christie's online database trying to find them. Your perspective on Dr. A. as an artist, more so than a fraudulent archeologist made me change my search terms. Knowing the approximate date of the sale it only took me about an hour to locate them.

Secondly, I wanted to locate every artefact he depicted in his books Amazonas and Night of the Vulture. Unfortunately still no updates on that. The count remains at 11 out of 24 artefacts located.

But after listening to the last and final episode from ‘your’ podcast none of this is important anymore. You found ground on which to argue that Dr. A. is the pseudonym of his wife Loes. Something I did suspect.

No, that is not true. I longed for a role for Loes in the work of Dr. A. What I want to thank you for is that you gave her that platform.

I did something I didn't dare do before. I sent a message through Facebook to Geraldien Willemien, who is Loes and Dr. A.’s daughter. I did not get an answer.

Or maybe I did.

Because a few days after that I found a thick envelope in my mailbox. It contained a small archive held together by a red elastic band. I recognised the style. These must be the works Loes could never show. The works that would blow her cover and reveal her artistry behind Dr. A.

This project has been given to me to finish. I will give Loes the attention she deserves. With that I consider us even.

Kind regards,

Eva van Ooijen