Attention: this exhibition has ended. View the current exhibition A Tale of Hidden Histories

Alex van Warmerdam

L’histoire kaputt
10 June through 2 September 2018
  • Alex van Warmerdam - L'histoire kaputt. Photo's: Studio Hans Wilschut

  • The girl who went missing (Alex van Warmerdam, 2018)

  • Room (Alex van Warmerdam, 2017-2018)

  • Side canal B (Alex van Warmerdam, 2018)

A man lifts a big black thing out of a closet, there is a composite girl, and there are creatures in the forest. Eye presents new work by Alex van Warmerdam in an exhibition specially designed for the film museum. Characters, objects and situations come to life in a mysteriously staged setting, complemented by big screens showing scenes from Van Warmerdam’s films. All elements of the exhibition testify to the down-to-earth imagination and idiosyncratic approach of Alex van Warmerdam as a maker of films and works for the stage, as well as a writer and painter.

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At the invitation of Eye Filmmuseum, Alex van Warmerdam (1952) created an exhibition with new films, installations and objects. Film, theatre, design and painting come together in L’histoire kaputt, a term that denotes a wondrous world where things are completely convincingly different from how they appear.

living room

Placed in the exhibition gallery is a big storage tank containing a ‘composite girl’ lying among the bushes. There is an open book where her head should be. A painting, over four metres in length, depicts two businessmen floating on a raft out at sea. Stop motion films show a constantly changing painting, and visitors can take turns to enter a living room and meet the occupants. Positioned between the works are big screens that show fragments from Van Warmerdam’s feature films, among them De Noorderlingen (1992), De Jurk (1996), Borgman (2013) and Schneider vs. Bax (2015).

Attention: this exhibition was on display from 10 June through 2 September 2018.

A Tale of Hidden Histories

Chia-Wei HSU, Drones, Frosted Bats and the Testimony of the Deceased, four-channel video installation, 3’40 ~ 8’40’’, 2017 © Chia-Wei HSU

read all about our current exhibition A Tale of Hidden Histories


During the exhibition, you can find a selection of Van Warmerdams film posters on display near Cinema 2 and 3. 

film programme

Alex van Warmerdam made his debut in 1986 with Abel, which immediately won two Golden Calf awards at the Netherlands Film Festival. Van Warmerdam broke through internationally with De Noorderlingen (1992), the Dutch entry for that year’s Oscars, which also won the European Film Award for Best Film. Borgman (2015) premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

To mark the exhibition, eight feature films of Van Warmerdam are being screened in the Eye cinemas. In the near future, Eye will present a re-edited version of Grimm (2003).


Accompanying the exhibition is a publication with a selection of Van Warmerdam’s poems, scenes from plays, images from his films and theatre performances, posters and paintings. In addition, the literary periodical De Gids has invited a range of writers and poets, whose work displays a comparable originality, to respond to Van Warmerdam’s work. Published by Eye in collaboration with Nieuw Amsterdam.


The VPRO programme Nooit Meer Slapen and Eye have produced a four-part series of podcasts. In addition to an extensive conversation with Alex van Warmerdam, the series includes conversations with nine people who work closely with him or have followed the artist for a long time, among them Annet Malherbe, Marc van Warmerdam and Ariane Schluter. 

  • Abel, 1986

  • De Noorderlingen, 1992

  • De Jurk, 1996

  • Kleine Teun, 1998

  • Ober, 2006

  • De laatste dagen van Emma Blank, 2009

  • Borgman, 2013

  • Schneider vs. Bax, 2015

Full programme

From A to Z

Attention: this exhibition has ended. View the current exhibition A Tale of Hidden Histories