Dutch artist Marijke van Warmerdam started making film installations with the help of simple and hypnotising, repetitive loops. Observations of minor human activities offer a fresh outlook on recognisable images. 

The ‘Prospect’ exhibition assembles films and photos as well as sculptures. A large bridge running through the central area like a catwalk separates the two parts of the exhibition.

The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art ‘S.M.A.K.’ presents for the first time a solo exhibition of the Dutch artist Marijke van Warmerdam (1959, living and working in Amsterdam). Marijke van Warmerdam has strongly defined herself this last decade. Some of the international exhibitions she took part in are the Biennial of Venice in 1995 – this meant her international break-through – Documenta X in Kassel in 1997 and ‘In Between’ at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. After its first showing at S.M.A.K., this exhibition will go to the Museet for Samtidskunst in Oslo and then the Musée d’Art Contemporain [MAC] in Marseille. These three museums have been following her work closely for years or have some of her work in their collection As an extension of this the initiative was taken to show her work to the public collectively. In Ghent the exhibition is called Prospect, and focuses, as in the other museums, on ‘looking ahead’. The artist experiences this looking in the here and now. Synchronicity is a constant in her work, meaning the creation of images with ‘two simultaneous times’. With her photographs, film loops and installation art she has her own way of offering the viewer an outlined moment of reflection on the range of the present, of what has been and of what is to come. Her works form a coherent whole in which the elements of ‘standing still’ and ‘looking forward’ constantly return.

Van Warmerdam creates an exhibition that makes intensive use of the museum rooms themselves: in the big room on the first floor at the front of S.M.A.K. and in the six adjoining smaller rooms. In the central space, a catwalk is erected that literally and figuratively connects the two other parts of the exhibition with each other. From this bridge the spectator has a good view of her key work Lichte Stelle (2000): a small boy in a swimming suite, the pockets turned inside out and still dripping with water, is standing on the shore of a lake. He is gazing at the other side, at the future. Leaning over the balustrade the visitor assumes the same position as the boy and looks at the lake from the same point of view. The visitor can reach the other rooms by crossing this bridge. In the rooms on the left, the cyclical aspect of ‘coming and going’ is emphasized. On the other side, new and previously unseen work shows us a ‘look ahead’. This includes the first screenings of the new films Roeren in de verte and The Fuck. This exhibition was brought about in close co-operation with Marijke van Warmerdam, with the support of the Mondriaan Foundation Amsterdam and in co-production with the Museet for Samtidskunst in Oslo and the [mac] in Marseille.

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