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Marijke van Warmerdam

Marijke van Warmerdam (1959) is known for her short films, photographs and sculptures, the simple and open imagery of which is directed straight at the observer. Her works often open the door to a different reality. She takes the observer to a border line where reality and daydream meet. Deploying a characteristic lightness of touch, the artist combines in her works a deceptively naive way of looking at things with simple strategies, such as drastic shifts in size, duplications, reflections, rhythmic repetitions and surprising contrasts, the objective being to open our eyes wider as we make our way through the world.

Van Warmerdam’s short film Met losse Handen (No Hands, 2004) is a nimble, thought-provoking metaphor that can evoke poetic feelings and memories in the observer. Who cannot remember riding a bicycle with no hands down a narrow path on a fine late summer’s day? The subjective film camera invites the viewer to follow its gaze: from the initial close scrutiny of the bicycle to verify the stability of the no-hands ride, followed after a few moments by a look downwards, which then widens into the distance and begins to climb like in a dream, gaining in height like an errant thought in flight. In seemingly complete freedom the camera’s gaze soon circles the trees to the right at a dizzy height, swings to the left as if it were doing a “no-hands” glider flight and finally returns after only a short time to the ground, where it resumes its initial state of concentration, ignoring the surroundings as if engaged in introspection. The film, which is shown in a virtually unbroken loop, appears to be an endless repetition of a cyclical movement, the up and down of which finds a parallel in many things.


  1. Marijke van Warmerdam Met Losse Handen, 2004

    Projection film couleur 35mm en boucle, muet
    2 min 40 s
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2005
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi

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