Guido van der Werve, Exhibition view, Secession 2013, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler

Guido van der Werve

at war with oneself

November 23, 2013 – January 19, 2014

As the protagonist of his own films, Dutch video and performance artist Guido van der Werve makes great physical demands upon himself. His works chart approaches to the experience of self and the world by staging an existentialist competition with himself. However, he not only documents the realisation of the conceived events; this documentation is also taken as a starting point from which to condense them into complex narratives about physical endurance, struggling with (one’s own) nature, the passage of time, and the uncontrollable dynamics of chance. Van der Werve, who has also completed training as a classical pianist, often anchors his narratives structurally by reference to the biographies of composers such as Rachmaninov or Chopin, as well as using his own musical compositions. In this way he produces works that measure spatial and temporal determinants by means of physical effort, yet also bear witness to a deep melancholy and the need to come to terms with isolation.


Guido van der Werve, born in Papendrech (The Netherlands) in 1977, lives and works in Berlin and Finland.