Guido van der Werve (1977)
Guido van der Werve uses the medium of film to create a tangible melancholy, in which classical music plays an important role. 'One thing I can't stand is the boredom in video art,' says Van der Werve. 'A lot of video art is nothing but information stripped down to the bare bones. Film has much more colour and depth.'* Van der Werve wants to achieve the atmosphere of the cinema: a place where people are much easier to entrance. This is the atmosphere he strives to evoke in his films and photographs. His work appeals to romance without becoming maudlin. For his photograph I smile at the world and the world smiles back (2002), he hung a swing in the window-frame of his upstairs apartment and swung hard on it, propelling himself skyward high above his balcony. The artist is able to use his personal questions and experiences to speak to a wide audience. Much of his works exude an atmosphere of obstinacy and resistance to fad and fashion. He prefers to keep his eyes open to universal feelings and beauties: a clear starry sky or the harmonies of Chopin.
Van der Werve was awarded the Volkskrant Visual Arts Prize 2007 for his film Nummer acht – Everything is going to be alright, a work that Rabobank had acquired for its collection earlier that year. The film shows the artist wandering over the frozen polar sea off the coast of Finland, with a monumental icebreaker cleaving the whiteness only ten metres behind him. The simplicity of the idea, the humour and the melancholy that the work conveys is reminiscent of nineteen seventies artists Ger van Elk, Sigurdur Gudmundsson or Bas Jan Ader.
* Van der Werve interview, www.stichtingpicos.nl, 03.12.2008