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 A FIFTY ONE Publication with photographs of Marcel De Baer (Geraardsbergen, 1922-2014).

ARTIST Archive of Marcel De Baer
TITLE By Accident
YEAR 2023
MEDIUM Softcover
SIZE 21 x 15 cm



With text by Roger Szmulewicz and Erik Bulckens


In the annals of photographic history, there exist visionaries who have graced the world with their artistic prowess, capturing beauty, emotions, and moments that resonate with our souls. And then, there are those like Marcel de Baer, a man who navigated life’s starkly utilitarian landscapes with an extraordinary blend of precision and indifference. Within the pages of this small book, we embark on a journey into the enigmatic world of Marcel de Baer, a man who never aspired to be a photographer but, in the line of duty, became an inadvertent chronicler of life’s most somber moments.

Marcel de Baer’s story unfolds within the solemn corridors of justice, where he stood as an expert witness for the public prosecutor. His domain was far removed from the charming streets of artistic Paris or the grandeur of exotic landscapes; instead, it was the gritty aftermath of automobile collisions in rural Belgium. As the sentinel of the law, he would promptly arrive at the scenes of major traffic accidents, meticulously documenting what had transpired through the lens of his camera, precise measurements, and technical drawings. His duty was not to craft visual poetry but to distill the stark facts into a narrative comprehensible to judges and juries. With a clinical eye, he faithfully discharged his responsibilities, capturing the aftermath of chaos.