Guido van der Werve, 2007

Number nine, the day I didn't turn with the world

For Number nine, the day I didn’t turn with the world, Guido van der Werve stood on the North Pole for exactly 24 hours. Dressed in black and sharply contrasting with the bright blue sky as well as with the endless white ice shelf around him, the film’s eight minutes and forty seconds of time-lapse photography frame the artist as a human pin on top of the world. While the earth spins one way, van der Werve slowly turns the other to counterbalance the planet’s movement.

The music—a romantic piano etude composed by van der Werve himself—adds a decidedly melancholic air to the scenery. In an earnest yet tragicomic way, Number nine pictures an attempt to literally “turn against” the world—the largest possible gesture of mankind’s autonomy, a gesture doomed to fail. If the world doesn’t stop turning, then at least, I try and stop for a day.


Number nine, the day I didn't turn with the world
Guido van der Werve
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio
1920px x 1080px, 8'40"