Person standing in a snowy landscape facing the sun
Guido van der Werve
Dutch, b. Papendrecht, 1977
Nummer Negen (#9) The Day I Didn’t Turn with the World
Single-channel video; color; sound; 8:40 min.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2008 (08.20)
Dutch filmmaker Guido van der Werve often tests his personal endurance against the elements of nature. To create Nummer Negen (#9), he traveled to the geographic North Pole and stood there for twenty-four hours, his back to the sun, slowly moving in the opposite direction from the planet’s rotation. Van der Werve captured his feat in a series of still photographs that he edited into a time-lapse video, which shudders and jumps as it captures his incremental motion. With his absurd yet poetic action—its epic feel heightened by a classical score that he composed—Van der Werve questions whether he can defy natural rhythms to achieve net-zero movement. While confronting nature, he is nonetheless subject to its force, and the effort of his endurance is palpable.