February 15, 2022

Guido van der Werve | Palpable Futility
Eye Filmmuseum
19 february – 29 may 2022

In the world of Guido van der Werve, Romanticism, nature and the sublime are never far away. His films explore the futility of existence, yet they also capture its endless beauty. This first retrospective exhibition of Van der Werve in The Netherlands features a broad selection of his films as well as new work. Van der Werve often films his extreme physical exertions, in which he does battle with himself. He runs around his house for twelve hours without stopping, stands on the north pole for 24 hours while the earth revolves beneath his feet, and completes a 1700-kilometre triathlon – between the church in Warsaw where Chopin’s heart is buried and his official grave in Paris.

The films combine autobiographical elements with themes such as classical music, endurance sport, chess and nature. Trained as a classical pianist, Van der Werve composes the music for many of his films. His work, depicting a tiny figure surrounded by overwhelming nature, is often associated with Romanticism. But besides extremes and melancholy, the films are sprinkled with dry wit.

Van der Werve is currently working on a new film, titled ‘Nummer achttien’, prompted by his involvement in a serious traffic accident. Highly autobiographical, the film deals with, among other things, his difficult rehabilitation process. The exhibition also features new work taken from ‘Nummer achttien’, which will be released in September.

An extensive publication featuring texts about and images of all films by Guido van der Werve is published to coincide with the exhibition.

Tastbare Futiliteit / Palpable Futility
Eye Filmmuseum, Amsterdam (NL)
12 February – 29 May 2022
Installation images: © Studio Hans Wilschut