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Guido van der Werve

Press release


Guido van der Werve

On the occasion of the Gallery Weekend Berlin 2019, Fluentum is pleased to inaugurate its collection publicly with a solo exhibition by Dutch artist Guido van der Werve (born 1977).
 
Fluentum is a platform for the production, collection and presentation of contemporary art with a strong focus on time-based media such as film and video. It supports artists* in their new productions, buys works for the collection and organizes exhibitions in its own rooms. As a private initiative, Fluentum is independent of institutions and galleries. 
Fluentum will present six works by the Dutch artist in his first major solo exhibition in Germany. Walking on frozen waters in front of an icebreaker, undertaking a 1,000-mile triathlon from Warsaw to Paris, or standing on the North Pole for a full twenty-four hours—the films of Guido van der Werve are often driven by sheer physical stamina. Yet at the same time—and not without a good portion of dry wit—they convey striking and clear images for existential and universal feelings: longing, melancholy, isolation, the precarity of life. Van der Werve, a classically trained musician as well as a passionate athlete, always stars as the lead actor of his intricately composed films and often writes his own musical scores. This inaugural exhibition at Fluentum showcases the artist’s oeuvre through a selection of six works from his Numbers series.
 
Parallel to the exhibition, Fluentum also supports the production of van der Werve’s new work Number eighteen —a poetic self-examination on how the artist’s inferiority complex and fear of death saved his life. In 2016, the artist had an accident while cycling through Berlin. He spent two months in a Berlin hospital fighting for his life. A development in a fast-forward followed. He could no longer do it alone, he had to rely on help from others. Number eighteen is a personal and radically concrete attempt to deal with mankind’s eternal wish to escape death, furthering van der Werve’s earlier works shown in this exhibition.

Fluentum is a platform for the production, collection and presentation of contemporary art with a strong focus on time-based media such as film and video. It was founded in 2010 by Berlin software entrepreneur Markus Hannebauer (born 1976). Currently, the collection includes works by Omer Fast, Hito Steyerl, William Kentridge, Douglas Gordon, Katarina Zdjelar, Hiwa K, and others.

Fluentum is located in the former main building of a military facility built in 1936-38 for the Luftwaffe, which served as the headquarters of the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1994. The Berlin Airlift was organized here. Over the past three years, the historic building on Clayallee has been extensively redesigned by the Berlin architects Sauerbruch Hutton for use as an exhibition and private space, so that seven areas spanning over 600 square meters can be used to exhibit art and host discussions with artists.