Black Box: Guido van der Werve

April 20, 2009 – October 11, 2009

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Independence Avenue at 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC

Lower Level Floor Plan

The Black Box theater showcases rotating exhibitions of contemporary artists who use film or video as their creative medium. Films or videos run continuously.

Guido Van der Werve (b. 1977, Papendrecht, Netherlands, lives and works in Amsterdam) is multi-talented, focusing first on painting, then performance art, and finally, film. To date, he has completed 10 short films that he describes as "possible scenarios of imaginary realities." The artist is often at the center of his elaborate and sly dramas: playing a piano on a float in the middle of a lake, launching an asteroid back to where it came from, greeting a flock of ballerinas in the middle of the street, hoisting a grand piano through an apartment window, or turning slowly (in the opposite direction of the earth's rotation). In Nummer Acht (#8) everything is going to be alright (2007, 10 min. continous loop) the artist plods just ahead of a gigantic ice-breaking ship as it crashes through the Gulf of Bothnia in Finland. He seems oblivious to the giant craft at his heels. The romantic notion of his isolated and harrowing plight is made vivid by van der Werve's daring performance. His stride is at once quaint and ambitious, dangerous and hilarious, ridiculous and sublime. He is a stand-in for everyman who presses on despite all perils.