A hat dancing on the wind, flowers blooming or a girl doing a handstand. In her work, Marijke Van Warmerdam (1959) chooses remarkably simple subjects. She makes use of image constructions, photo and film techniques, which provide an open and unexpected perspective which asks attention for the simple beauty of trivialities. Almost 60,000 visitors enjoyed the works bij Marijke van Warmerdam in this period.
Marijke van Warmerdam is best known for her short looped films. In the Bodon gallery were large projections of her well-known films, such as ‘Handstand’ (1992), ‘Skytypers’ (1997) and ‘Le retour du chapeau’ (1998), as well as new works that Van Warmerdam has made specially for the exhibition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. In addition to videos and films, the exhibition featured photographic works, sculptures and painted film stills on canvas.
It is more than ten years since a retrospective of her work had been held in the Netherlands. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen showed a major retrospective exhibition of her diverse oeuvre in the autumn of 2011. The exhibition was curated by Jan Debbaut, former director of collections at Tate in London.
At the entrance, the visitor was greeted by the sound of the film loop 'Vliegtuigen' (1994) growing louder and dying away. In the exhibition, it was the only film with sound; after that, the rooms were silent with here and there the sound of a small film projector. Marijke van Warmerdam does not tell stories in her works but relies upon the visual power of the motif. A falling drop of milk slowly dissolving in a glass of water in ‘Dream Machine’ (2006) or a hand running across venetian blinds in ‘Light’ (2010), altering the pattern of the daylight that filters through. Van Warmerdam removes banal objects and acts from their everyday context, although they are almost always carefully positioned, and she knows how to move along paths that lead to a different way of looking and experiencing. The endless repetitions in the film loops have an hypnotic effect, as writer Maarten Doorman puts it: "Marijke van Warmerdam’s work often lifts you up for a moment." The visitor is "being lifted out of your normal way of looking – and so, contrariwise, this work drops you smack bang back into reality."
More than films
Marijke van Warmerdam also encourages a new way of looking through direct, minimal interventions, such as tilting, turning, rotating, duplicating, repeating, mirroring and moving in her sculptures, photographic works and paintings. Marijke van Warmerdam also encourages a new way of looking through direct, minimal interventions in her sculptures, photographic works and paintings. Together with the image construction she has conceived, the eloquence of these works is considerably amplified, and Van Warmerdam is not at all scared of using film methods.
Marijke van Warmerdam lives and works in Amsterdam and Karlsruhe. Her work has been included in many important international exhibitions including the biennales in Venice, Sydney, Berlin and Gwangju and Documenta X in Kassel. She has had retrospective exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Migros Museum in Zurich, the ICA in Boston, MuHKA in Antwerp, the Fruitmarket in Edinburgh, IKON in Birmingham and recently in Magasin 3 in Stockholm. Her work is represented in numerous international collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the 21st Century Museum of Moderne Art, Kanazawa in Japan, Castello di Rivoli, Turin in Italy and latterly in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.
Publication, ARTtube and more
The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated book, entitled ‘Close by in the distance’, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König. With contributions by Maarten Doorman, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Fiona Bradley en Michaela Unterdörfer. This English publication with Dutch translation is available in the museum shop (€ 34.95). ISBN 978-3-86335-109-0.
Film maker Rudolf Evenhuis has made a documentary about Marijke van Warmerdam. A shortened version could be seen in the exhibitionspace and on ARTtube.
Marijke van Warmerdam produced the artwork 'In de verte' ('In the distance) on the occasion of the exhibition 'Close by in the Distance'. The artwork is exlusively available in the museumshop and in the webshop, as an edition of 40. Click here for more information.
The exhibition ‘Marijke van Warmerdam - Close by in the distance’ will travel from Rotterdam to Museum Serralves in Porto (spring 2012) and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf (winter 2012 - 2013).
SNS REAAL Fonds is the chief sponsor of the exhibition ‘Marijke van Warmerdam - Close by in the distance’. The exhibition is supported by the Mondriaan Foundation, Fonds BKVB and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, sponsored by Breeman Talle Fonds. The publication is also supported by Fonds BKVB.
The film works of Marijke van Warmerdam have been preserved and digitized by EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Thanks to Mark-Paul Meijer, senior-curator and Simona Monizza, collection specialist.