Multimedia installation for eight monitors, 6’58”,  2003, remake 2014

A man or a woman moves naked with a figure wrapped in black which steps in and out of the dark surroundings.

The eight display screens set in small pillars with sound stand in a circle surrounded by empty space. The slow motion movements strikes you as almost graphical.

The bodies are looking for balance. To embrace or reject, to fight or surrender. The seconds tick away.

Music: Arent Weevers, Bas Bouma

Joost de Wal

Words from Dr. Joost de Wal

Art historian
Guest curator, and final image editor, translator, publicist and consultant in the field of modern art

“On eight video screens a naked figure, alternately male and female, moves like a pas de deux in slow motion with ‘the shadow of death’. The dancers are in the spotlight. They lead and follow the dark shadow that appears and disappears. The images are not scary or macabre, but peaceful and serene: And Death Shall Have No Dominion. / Dead men naked They Shall Be One (Dylan Thomas).

The monitors are arranged in a circle. The viewer is in the centre. The monotonous low sound resonates, implodes, and the climax turns into a second of solemn silence. The silhouette of death simultaneously overcomes the eight bodies. Weevers makes his audience share his story: we ourselves are the vulnerable centre, we ourselves are ‘free among the dead’.

Free among the dead, like the slain That lie in the grave, Whom thou rememberest no more: and They are cut off from thy hand is taken from Psalm 88: 5 in the King James Version. No other translation, also not in Dutch, is so rich in associations concerning the boundaries between faith and secularism, church and world, bible and art, word and image.

Weevers breaks conventions and opens new perspectives. In his distinctive minimalist way he constantly searches for the essence. In contrast with the despairing song of the psalmist he presents his hopeful choreography of freedom and life. In Free Among the Dead video, theatre and dance – the worlds of Viola, Beckett and Bausch – come together in an existential, totally own language of the media arts.”

Further reading: Contemporary art in Dutch churches 1990-2015 (Joost de Wal).

Do you know that this artwork…

Is exhibited at:

  • 5e Biënnale ‘Moving Images – Ecce Homo’, Great or Lebuinuschurch, Deventer – June 2015
  • Museum Night Amsterdam, Old Church, Amsterdam – November 2014
  • Solo exhibition, the Highlands Church , Leiden – October2014.
  • Solo exhibition, Martinikerk, Groningen – September 4 – 11, 2015