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Guido van der Werve constructs possible scenarios and imaginary realities where various geographies collide in order to generate momentary sensations of unusual, dream-like intensity. Trained as a pianist, the artist aims to create a visual and conceptual language that manifests a similar directness to the one that is typical in music.

His performance-based film, Nummer acht. Everything is going to be alright, depicts an unusual journey that the artist undertakes, walking 15 metres in front of an icebreaker in the dramatic landscape of the Finnish Gulf of Bothnia. The performance lasts the time of one roll of film but this duration bears a sort of neverending, hypnotic and meditative quality.

A similar metaphor of the existential condition is to be found in Nummer negen. The day I didn’t turn with the world. The artist traveled to the geographic North Pole and stood on the exact axis of the world for 24 hours, turning clockwise while the earth under him turned anti-clockwise. Due to this counter-movement, the artist and the world were desynchronized for one day. Van der Werve filmed the performance every 6 seconds and time-lapsed the 24-hour film to 9 minutes, thus achieving a sort of stasis, an unearthly feeling of momentary suspense and separation

Guido Van der Werve’s work has been linked to that of ‘romantic conceptualists’ from previous generations such as fellow Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader who disappeared at sea in 1975 while attempting to sail from the east coast of the United States to Europe as part of a project titled ‘In Search of the Miraculous’. This accompanying screening includes a variety of of seminal works from the 1970s by Bas Jan Ader.

Watch an interview with Guido van der Werve on Site Gallery’s Youtube page

Related Events
Talk by Guido van der Werve
Wednesday 18 March, 4pm, Showroom Cinema
Guido van der Werve gave a talk about his work as part of the Transmission lecture series. This will be viewable on the website soon.

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