Artworks Amsterdam

Birgit Verwer Artworks


When I was a little girl, I was fascinated by game shows on television. I watched grown ups play in a game show like their lives were at stake. My favorite was De Sterrenshow, with my host hero Willem Ruis running like a idiot from left to right the whole night, totally winding himself up, as if he was a participant himself who felt he was going to lose the game. During the show, Willem Ruis always shouted “stop the time!”. And to put it philosophically: Don’t we all want that? To stop the time?

What if life itself turned out to be a television game show? We want to win the things in life which are the most important to us. We want to control things, but sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it can slip through your fingers (you almost had it all) and sometimes you just didn’t have a chance at all or you didn’t have enough time to win… And what would we be we winning? A prize? Some time-out? The assurance or comfort of an inevitable death? Is it an all-or-nothing game? Let’s play the game without limits, leaving all our fears behind and stop wasting any more of our precious time!

We spend our valuable time in life in a consumer society which is attracted to power, money, television, and religion, while at the same time countries are at war and people are dying of starvation. Yet, we possess an irrepressible “Disney-hunger”, a desire to live a great and successful life. The world spins so fast these days and the overload and the pressure of our consumer economy forces us to live by the clock. But what about our own individual inner time, our needs and our rhythms? Do we know and feel what we really need? When is it enough? When are we fulfilled? What can silence and stillness do for our mental and physical health, well-being, creativity, love and pleasure? What if your own inner time asks you to forget about clock time? Can we control time, or even better, buy ourselves (more) time somewhere?

Photography: Gerhard Zervaas
These works will be part of the ‘Stil Even’ exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Zwolle. ‘Stil Even’ will be on view from 9-04 till 28-08.