A man lifts a big black thing out of a closet, there is a composite girl, and there are creatures in the forest. Eye presents new work by Alex van Warmerdam in an exhibition specially designed for the film museum. Characters, objects and situations come to life in a mysteriously staged setting, complemented by big screens showing scenes from Van Warmerdam’s films. All elements of the exhibition testify to the down-to-earth imagination and idiosyncratic approach of Alex van Warmerdam as a maker of films and works for the stage, as well as a writer and painter.
At the invitation of Eye Filmmuseum, Alex van Warmerdam (1952) created an exhibition with new films, installations and objects. Film, theatre, design and painting come together in L’histoire kaputt, a term that denotes a wondrous world where things are completely convincingly different from how they appear.
Placed in the exhibition gallery is a big storage tank containing a ‘composite girl’ lying among the bushes. There is an open book where her head should be. A painting, over four metres in length, depicts two businessmen floating on a raft out at sea. Stop motion films show a constantly changing painting, and visitors can take turns to enter a living room and meet the occupants. Positioned between the works are big screens that show fragments from Van Warmerdam’s feature films, among them De Noorderlingen (1992), De Jurk (1996), Borgman (2013) and Schneider vs. Bax (2015).
Alex van Warmerdam made his debut in 1986 with Abel, which immediately won two Golden Calf awards at the Netherlands Film Festival. Van Warmerdam broke through internationally with De Noorderlingen (1992), the Dutch entry for that year’s Oscars, which also won the European Film Award for Best Film. Borgman (2015) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
To mark the exhibition, eight feature films of Van Warmerdam are being screened in the Eye cinemas. Later this year, Eye is presenting a re-edited version of Grimm (2003).