Friday, 16 May 2014, 24:00 | midnight

#55: Guido van der Werve

Guido van der Werve’s creative work consists of films and videos of performances and actions, for which the artist – who has also completed musical training – often composes special soundtracks. His works deal with a wide range of cultural topics, although the artist always critically and sensitively questions their function as access to an experience of the world. His films are characterised by the artist’s own activities as a performer; he always appears as a protagonist in his works, often exposing himself to tremendous physical hardships and dangers. Van der Werve’s filmic compositions include lyrical and musical elements and deeply move the viewer with their wonderful, but equally melancholy images

Guido van der Werve presents

Nummer veertien, home, Greece, Holland, Germany, Egypt, India, France 2012, 54:00 min
Nummer veertien, home, a multilayered and complex film, the structure of which is based on that of a classical Requiem: three movements and twelve acts. The film poetically interweaves tales of Alexander the Great, the death of Frédéric Chopin, and van der Werve’s own personal narrative. When Chopin died in Paris, his sister vowed to fulfill the composer’s wish of bringing his heart back to his native land of Poland; she succeeded in smuggling his heart out of France and carried it to Warsaw where it was interred in the Church of the Holy Cross.

For Nummer veertien, home, Van der Werve performed a 1,000-mile triathlon (swimming, biking, and running) from Warsaw to Paris – seven times the length of the Ironman Triathlon – retracing the path that Chopin’s heart travelled to its final burial place.

Nummer veertien, home explores themes common to van der Werve’s work, such as physical endurance, man’s struggle with nature, the crossover between history and geography, melancholy and the solitary – all presented in van der Werve’s surreal and deadpan sensibility.

See also Jerry Saltz “Triaesthete“, NY Magazine


Guido van der Werve (b. 1977 in Papendrecht, the Netherlands) currently lives and works in Finland, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Van der Werve pursued studies in industrial design, archaeology, music composition, and Russian language and literature at several universities in the Netherlands before beginning to create his first video documented performances around 2000. Since that time he has created a variety of works, including films, videos, and artist’s books in chronological order from two to fifteen.

Recent showings of his work include solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the High Line, New York; the Giuliani Foundation, Rome; and de Hallen Haarlem in the Netherlands. Van der Werve’s most recent film, nummer veertien,home, won the 2013 Golden Calf award in Amsterdam for Best Short Film. The performance of his Requiem, home, written for this film, has been performed internationally several times, including in such cities as Moscow, Rome, and New York. Each year van der Werve participates in the Performa festival with his Annual Running to Rachmaninoff Run performance; 2015 will be the sixth time this event takes place.

Guido van der Werve’s web site: