In his first solo-exhibition in Finland Guido van der Werve (1977 Papendrecht, The Netherlands) will focus on showing his 35mm films Nummer twee, Nummer drie and the just recently completed Nummer vier (shot partly in Finland). Van der Werve started of doing performances, but unwillingly to perform his performances live, he registrated his performances on video. In developing these registrations van der Werve started to get more interested in film and the language of cinematography. In his first ever 3 min 35-mm film; Nummer twee, just because I'm standing here doesn't mean I want to, van der Werve mixed performance with narrative. After this he made a number of new films all having numbers as titles. Key elements in these films are still the performances, but van der Werve has added music, text and atmospheric scenes as returning elements. The films are filmed using long shots as if they were registrations. In his exhibition in MUU gallery Van der Werve will also show some older video works and photographs.
Being partly raised as a classical pianist, Van der Werve got accustomed to the direct and intuitive communication of this media. This is something that can also be found in his visual works, where the associative level of the work overrules the rational. Using his state of mind as a torchlight van der Werve collects elements over a certain period of time, that are later used as building blocks in the abstract stories that form his works.
Guido van der Werve has studied audio-visual arts at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, NL and recently got a residency at the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL. Balancing between the film-word and the art-world, his works have been exhibited in group and solo shows in The Netherlands, Germany, France, England, Czech Republic, USA, Russia and others, and at film-festivals all over the world. His works have been awarded with the René Coelho Award of the Netherlands Media Institute, Montevideo/TBA in 2003 and this year van der Werve was nominated for the prestigious Dutch state art award; 'Prix de Rome'. Beside productive works Guido van der Werve has worked as a guest teacher and lecturer at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and the Academy of Arts, Reykjavik, Iceland.
Two quotes that illustrate the works well;
...Humor and art are two great tastes that rarely taste great together, but in the polished hands of young Dutch artist Guido van der Werve they combine forces to redefine our received notions of beauty. His Chopin-soundtracked triptych Nummer drie, for example, in which a moonlit ballerina fails to flinch as a tree falls perilously close behind her, could easily lapse into terminal cuteness, the province of a local filmfestival's slighter works whose winsome ambitions you passingly applaud but seldom remember. Yet Van der Werve's mix of high production values and macabre undertones catapults his works from throwaway one-liners into more nuanced examinations of irony and solitude...
from Douglas Heingartner, Flash art int. Nr 236 May-June 2004. Guido van der Werve at Montevideo Amsterdam.
.Van der Werve's subtle poetry has been compared to the romantic conceptualism of his fellow countryman, the legendary Bas Jan Ader, who disappeared during his crossing of the Atlantic in 1974. Ader's obsessive occupation with the issue of falling as well as the often self-ironic, carefully staged performative use of himself as a figure seem in fact comparable. So when Paul Adriesse wrote in 1998, "Unlike much conceptual art, the work of Ader is not the recording of a normal occurrence from reality but constructed.
This is where poetry creeps in, this could today also be read as a characterization of the work of Guido van der Werve
From Ludwig Seyfarth Berlin, Juli 2005, Exhibition Catalogue at Gallery Olaf Stüber Berlin.