When your body lies in Paris

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Still frame Number fourteen, home
Guido van der Werve
1 channel video, color video, stereo audio 
1920px x 1080px, 54′

By chance, I recently saw the birthplace of Alexander the Great, this archaeological site captured in a pink haze by my camera from one of Guido van der Werve’s video installations at the newly opened Fluentum located in the suburbs of Berlin. I started the video midway through and saw the artist running, swimming, and cycling across Europe. Along the way, he procures a cup of soil from the birthplace of Chopin and then at the end of his journey, places it in front of Chopin’s tomb in Paris. When the video had looped back to the beginning, there it was – Pella – appearing suddenly and immediately taking on an importance as I tried to attach meaning to its sighting. Does this mean I should be reading more Aristotle? I thought back to my own birthplace. Chopin had told his sister to transport his heart back to Poland where it rests now before his death. Guido van der Werve’s completion of a 1000-mile triathlon retraces the journey of Chopin’s heart in reverse from Warsaw to Paris.


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