Guido van der Werve runs for Rachmaninoff

Third instalment of Dutch artist's annual run to composer's grave takes place in New York next week
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Guido van der Werve
Guido van der Werve

Last November, during Performa, Dutch artist Guido van der Werve led a small group on a run from his Chelsea gallery, Luhring Augustine, to the grave of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, in Valhalla, N.Y. The 30-mile journey was the second edition of his annual Run to Rachmaninoff piece, which he initiated in 2010 from MoMA PS1. The third instalment is almost upon us. This time the Third Annual Run To Rachmaninoff will depart from the gallery’s new Bushwick location with fellow runners on Saturday, September 8th, at 9 am. If you're in the area and fancy being part of an artwork you can sign up to run via Luhring Ausgustine's website

Those who complete the 30 miles will receive a medal designed by van der Werve. Last year, nine people started but only one (apart from the artist) finished. Van der Werve once ran 60 miles as part of an artwork. The reasoning behind the run is as follows: since Rachmaninoff died in Beverly Hills, California during World War II, it was not possible for his body to be returned to his homeland, so he ended up in the Kensico Cemetery. “He seemed kind of lonely there,” van der Werve said last year. “No one knows he is there.”

Van der Werve's films are drenched in an atmosphere of melancholy, loss and loneliness. Often preoccupied with dead composers or ancient dance forms, they have included him narrating the history of Steinway pianos while sitting on a piano stool or walking slowly in front of an icebreaker in the Gulf of Finland and standing for a whole day at the North Pole.

Van der Werve will be busy the weekend of the pilgrimage. He’s debuting two new works at Luhring Augustine’s Chelsea branch on September 7, the day before the run (so no champers for him at the opening) and on September 9 the gallery’s Bushwick venue will open a survey of eight of his films, dating from 2003 to 2009. More from van der Werve's website.


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