Burned, frozen, winched, dangled and hit by a gondola: the stunning extreme prowes of Guido van der Werve
From sweeping the Baltic on sea frost to preparing his own organization ablaze, the Dutchman goes to amazing spans to cause mind-boggling artworks. And now hes thoughts for Britain
When I called the artist Guido van der Werve last year to format a fit, Pauline Portrait, his studio administrator, “ve told me” he was healing from a serious bicycle accident. I met with Van der Werve some months later in his studio in Prenzlauerberg, Berlin, and talked about his cultivate as a film-maker, and the aftermath of the accident. It had been a close call- doctors said it was only his very strong constitution, built up through marathons and triathlons, that had got him through. You could say he had been saved by art.
For more than a decade Van der Werve , now 40, has been making cinemas based on extreme physical strength and knowledge, involving climbing, cycling, swimming and rush. He combines these with music that he makes, and often plays, compensating tribute to the Nostalgic composers he admires. He is by his own admission a nostalgic, but a preferably mad one, undercutting the existential seriousness of his work with an offbeat fun often veering into absurdity.
We sit around a computer screen and watch one of his first movies, Nummer Twee, Just Because I’m Standing Here Doesn’t Mean I Want To ( all his works are numbered in Dutch and subtitled in English ), manufactured in 2003 while he was a student at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. It testifies Van der Werve walking downwards into the suburban street in front of his childhood home, before being knocked down with some pressure by a car. Ballerinas seem from the back of a patrol wagon and dance around his inert figure to Corelli’s Christmas Concerto .
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