In the third solo exhibition at Club Solo, the works of visual artist Erik Wesselo (1964, ‘s Hertogenbosch) take centre stage. Wesselo currently lives and works in Brooklyn (NY) and Amsterdam. The solo exhibition gives an overview of earlier work, including the film Düffels Möll(1997), combined with newly created work. The new polaroids from Lesotho and Brooklyn will be shown for the first time in the Netherlands, and two new films, Kolam (India, 2012) and 20 Horsemen(Lesotho, 2014), are shown.
Erik Wesselo’s work was initially characterised by 16 mm films in which he was the protagonist. These films were mostly concerned with disrupting the senses, with Wesselo ‘heroically’ exposing himself to dangers or situations beyond his control. Examples include Backward, Burning Up and Düffels Möll. In the last of these films, Wesselo spins around on the vane of a windmill. The body becomes one with the windmill, the wind, and the surroundings; everything is a part of a single motion.
Becoming one with time and moving synchronously with it has remained a motive in Wesselo’s work. The duration, length and speed of his films are always carefully structured. This gives them a meditative quality; the narrative unfolds before the viewer without a sense of haste.
In the late 1990s, a period of introspection moved the emphasis to photography, and Wesselo’s work became more contemplative. Wesselo’s physical form slowly disappeared from the work. Nature and repetition are the foremost recurring elements in both his films and his photography. Wesselo has a strong preference for images with a gloomy atmosphere; this is expressed through the use of dark shadows and somber colours in soft images with no contours. Seeing his films and photos invokes a strong sense of melancholy and desire.
In the film Kolam (India, 2012), a ritual is acted out. Without knowing just what this ritual entails, we see a woman drawing geometric patterns in the sand in a single, uninterrupted line.
The film 20 Horsemen (2014) was filmed in Lesotho, a country fully landlocked by South Africa. A group of twenty horsemen emerges from the horizon and approaches at a full gallop. A collision seems imminent, but they barely miss the camera and disappear the way they came, leaving us in an immense landscape.