Marijke van Warmerdam (1959, the Netherlands) first garnered international attention at the Venice Biennial in 1995 with her short film loops portraying the beauty in simple movements and everyday actions. “I especially like art when it’s mixed with life. Art can give life a twist, and the other way around,” she observes.
In her work Van Warmerdam does not tell stories, but relies on the visual power of the motif: a hat dancing in the wind, a drop of milk slowly dissolving in a glass of water, a girl doing a handstand or a red suitcase sliding down a snowy mountain. Although she uses a variety of media including photography, sculpture, and sound installations, she is best known for her short, looped films.
Under the title »Then, now, and then«, the ZKM | Karlsruhe is showing fourteen new films by the artist, which were made in 2017 during a guest residency in Rome and subsequent visits to the Italian capital. The films reveal traces of the dynamism of the Baroque era in today’s Rome, in which the artist captures people jogging, gesticulating in traffic, shopping, and lovers on a bridge. Distance and proximity, visibility and invisibility, movement and rotation alternate. Whether with camera work, light, editing - each film finds its own way to make the restless eddies of the Baroque visible.
The films are shown as repetitive loops in which the sounds of the city play as vital a role as the accompanying images. In fact, the soundtracks provide the connecting tissue between the fourteen films, and invites the visitors to engage with different stimuli between the screens and sculptural elements.
Additional to the film installation a new work called »Timeline« is presented. A long screen print on paper connects the films in a more graphic way. The work refers to history, the Roman period in the middle of the present time. Every new period in history gradually but inevitably closes a previous one. The work was created at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe, commissioned by ZKM I Karlsruhe.
»Then, now, and then« is almost a retrospective, as numerous themes and motifs from earlier works are revisited in new guises. With a keen eye for abstract pictorial qualities, van Warmerdam celebrates chance, that secret order that has made everyday life on city streets so colorful for centuries.
Marijke van Warmerdam is an advisor at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam and has been a professor at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe since 2004. In addition to the Venice Biennale, Marijke van Warmerdam has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the Sydney, Berlin and Gwangju Biennials, and documenta X. She has had major solo exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the ICA in Boston, MAC in Marseille and The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. A retrospective of her work has been shown at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf.
While providing mentorship to young artists she draws on her experience with the dynamics between sculpture, film, and photography. Her sculptural approach is characteristic of her work, a seamless follow-through from her beginnings as a sculptor.
The exhibition »Then, now, and then« will be accompanied by a publication, designed by Mevis en van Deursen. In the publication the sixteen films that capture Rome in a compelling tribute to this unique city of cinema by artist Marijke van Warmerdam, are accompanied by sixteen short notes by Dominic van den Boogerd.
The exhibition is part of the program series »Female Perspectives« dedicated to female positions in Media Art. The artists are Soun-Gui Kim, Marijke van Warmerdam, Analívia Cordeiro and Ulrike Rosenbach.