New in the collection: Marijke van Warmerdam

Marijke van Warmerdam, In the distance, 2010 Marijke van Warmerdam, Couple, 2010 Marijke van Warmerdam, Couple, 2010 Marijke van Warmerdam, In the Distance, 2010

Press release

New in the collection: film installation by Marijke van Warmerdam
2 December 2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is delighted to announce its acquisition of Marijke van Warmerdam’s double-installation ‘Couple in the Distance’ (2010). This key work in her oeuvre is an important addition to the museum’s collection. The installation will be part of the major retrospective exhibition of Van Warmerdam’s work at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in September 2011.

Marijke van Warmerdam is best known for her work ‘Douche’ (1995), a film loop showing a man endlessly showering, which was displayed for several years at Schiphol airport. In addition to these sorts of film installations, her work comprises videos, sound pieces, photographs and sculptures dealing with recognisable situations. Her work presents a vision of reality that is at once light-hearted and concentrated. For example, her 16mm film ‘Dream Machine’ (2006) shows – in slow motion and extreme close-up – the consequences of a drop of milk slowly dissolving in a glass of water. Van Warmerdam often chooses light-footed and joyful subject matter: trails of aeroplane smoke against a blue sky or a girl doing a handstand.

‘Couple in the Distance’
The recently acquired film installation consists of two 35mm films projected onto opposite sides of a screen. On one side we see the camera approaching an older couple sitting on a park bench next to a lake on a sunny afternoon (Couple, 2010). The camera moves in a circle around the couple, sometimes close-up and sometimes at a distance. On the other side of the screen we see droplets of condensation running down a window. A hand wipes the droplets away and we see the same scene with the older couple in the distance (In the Distance, 2010). This double-sided projection emphasises both the temporary and the infinite.

From 25 September to 15 January 2012 Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is organising a retrospective exhibition of the Dutch artist Marijke van Warmerdam. The 1500 m2 exhibition embraces her diverse body of work, including approximately twenty films and videos, twenty-five photographic works, ‘painted’ film stills and a kinetic sculpture. The exhibition is curated by the museum’s senior curator Jaap Guldemond in collaboration with Jan Debbaut, former Director of Collections of Tate.

Marijke van Warmerdam (1959) lives and works in Amsterdam and Karlsruhe, Germany. Since exhibiting at the Venice Biennale (1995) and Documenta in Kassel (1997) she has built up a successful career. In 2004 she received the David Roëll Prize, an oeuvre prize awarded by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. There have been major surveys of her work in Boston, Marseille, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Her work can be found in numerous collections, including those of the Centre George Pompidou in Paris, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.


The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, published by Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. From September 2011 it can be purchased online at: A varied programme of activities will be organised around the exhibition. More information:

The acquisition of the double-installation ‘Couple in the Distance’ by Marijke van Warmerdam is financed by the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Foundation.