Erik Wesselo

April 26, 2008 at 6:00 pm

Erik Wesselo riding a windmill

Erik Wesselo (1964 ’s-Hertogenbosch Netherlands) makes films that are marked by a clear beginning and end, but in between everything stays the same. Wesselo uses film, the medium of the moving image to bring time to a standstill. For the duration of the film he tries to capture the viewer with this one image. He uses the camera as a parallel to his psychological experience. The tragic moments in the films coalesce with their liberating potential.

The following is the program for Wesselo’s presentation:


Backward (1997 16 mm 5.00 min color sound) is an extremely physical film where the artist is riding on a galloping horse back to front exploring his relation with the environment.

In Luxembourg (1997 16 mm 3.35 min color sound) we see the smartly dressed artist as the bored caretaker of an empty, wealthy home where he walks from room to room. When he leans on the balcony a reverse zoom reveals the outside of the house, then the fact that it is surrounded by a gang of bikers. In a reference to Easy rider and it’s ideal, the freedom of the open road, the bikers come a cross here as a mental projection.

Wesselo’s Düffels Möll (1997 16 mm 5.00 min color mute) begins in medias res Wesselo is bound to the sail of a windmill rotating swiftly counterclockwise. By binding himself to the blade of the windmill, the artist is simultaneously empowered and powerless. Flying through the air at great heights he experiences the rush of being able to survey his surroundings from a new perspective.


Oil (2000 16 mm 30.00 min) records a performance event in which the artist and a co-worker are engaged in a monotonous and backbreaking task of loading a shipping container with boxes of oil. The film begins with an empty container and ends when the containers is full and the “actors” no longer have a performance space.


In Battery Park City (2006 two channel video projection 7.00 min color sound) Wesselo himself does not appear unlike the other films where he uses performances to explore structurally his relationship with the environment. In Battery Park City we see the camera exploring and investigating the landscape of lower Manhattan after the event of 9/11.


This exhibition is made possible in part with support from the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam, the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and

Mondriaan Foundation