By Dora Brandt, weekly newspaper ‘De Roskam’, the Netherlands
Twice before has the majestic Grote- of Lebuinus church in Deventer hosted a video art Biennale, exhibiting work inspired by spirituality and religion in the broadest sense of the word. As in 2007 and 2009, the Biennale, titled ‘Moving Images – Inspired Video Art’, is the initiative of video artist/preacher for students, Arent Weevers (1958) who brought together pieces of seven internationally acclaimed artists, some of which very early adopters of the medium, like Marina Abramovic and Madelon Hooykaas/Elsa Stansfield. There have been major technological developments in recording and displaying both images and sound. Video artists these days are provided with the use of the latest 3D high-speed cameras; which Weevers soberly exhibits. For it is not about what technique has accomplished; the video art of ‘Moving Images’ aspires to stir, move and confront the audience with matters of life and death. (..)
Heart and Soul
Finally, the premiere of Arent Weevers’ ‘Josephine’s Wel’l (2011) makes for an impressive visual climax. The piece is a three-dimensional experience (with special glasses) of beautifully slow moving images, meaningful and profound, which show a woman and tree girls rising from the virtual deep. They are (almost) naked, vulnerable as they appear from under their long blond, languidly flowing hair, floating in empty space, light as angels and weightlessly rising to the surface. It appears as if the woman is taking corporeal shape, but remains untouchable and while she reaches out to the surface like a person about to drown, she disappears into the dark abyss. The image is of a touching fragility, near but unattainable like a mirage, is it otherworldly? The shapes show themselves from all angles to the audience, which is a wondrous reversal of perception as spectators would normally move themselves around a sculpture. The accompanying music by David Dramm is sometimes heavenly and other times jarring. The title ‘Josephine’s Well’ refers to the Bible story of Joseph the ‘dreamer’ who was thrown naked into a well by his jealous brothers. To Weevers his work is about the awareness of existential experiences; the inherently human aspects of life, death, love, suffering and the mystery that lies within them, the unexplained. In order to achieve this he demonstrates a benevolent sobriety and he celebrates the esthetic experience, in which he proves to be a kindred spirit of Bill Viola, on whom he published a book. Weevers, whose ‘Mary!’ (2009) received a New York Video art award, has already started his next production. ‘We’ve raised the bar, there is no way back after the 3D high-speed experience’. Hopefully we will see Weevers and other leading video artists’ new work at the 2013 Biennale in the Grote- of Lebuinuskerk in Deventer!