Chili, September 1973 (Chile, September 1973). De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 1973. 48 pp. Quarto. First edition. SIGNED on verso of front wrapper. Printed wraps. Saddle-stitched. Black-and-white reproductions. Includes letter of authenticity from Amsterdam bookseller in whose presence Wessing signed the book.
"Koen Wessing's Chili, September 1973 is a shocking document from a socially concerned and politically engaged Dutch photojournalist. Published in 1973, just months after the fall of Salvador Allende to Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’etat, it describes the tense days of the military attempt to root out public opposition in the streets of Santiago."--Publisher's description from errata editions, who re-presented Wessing's book as part of their Books on Books series
"The Dutch photographer Koen Wessing was on the streets of Santiago immediately after the coup happened. His gritty documentary pictures were quickly published in this no frills, extremely elegant photobook … There are not many images in the book, but each is carefully considered, modest and succinct ... despite the difficulties of taking photographs in such a tense and difficult situation. The main thrust of the book is the coup's immediate aftermath, the shock and grief of the people, the rounding up of Allende's supporters by the Army, and their herding into the now notorious National Stadium in Santiago, where many would be tortured and killed. Wessing vividly captures one of these executions, in a two-page sequence that forms the book’s climax."--Parr & Badger
Email from Dutch bookseller regarding the signature:
To get Koen's signature was not easy, because I don't know where he lives at the moment, and to meet him downtown, (which was not so difficult in the past) has become complicated because Koen is very ill, he suffers from lung cancer and leads as far as I can judge a solitary life and does not appear in public often. The only place that he frequents now and then is a pub near the Spui, where the weekly bookmarket is. There I saw met him recently , and although he was in company, I could ask him for his signature. He agreed.
Koen Wessing died less than three weeks later on February 2nd, 2011.
Near Fine+ copy of a VERY fragile book; typical tanning to wraps; expertly repaired 1/2" tear front wrapper (NOT a tape repair).