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still Apocalypse: The Four Nightmares (Wanderwelle)

Wanderwelle meets the Eye-Collection

Meet the Archive 2023: Wanderwelle meets the Eye-Collection

Every year, the kaleidoscopic nature of Eye’s collection is underlined when our collection experts step into the spotlights during Meet the Archive. Eye’s experts provide exceptional stories from (early) cinema history, highlighting forgotten filmmakers. Free admission: collect a ticket from the box office on the day.

poster Meet the Archive 2023

Wanderwelle: The Four Nightmares (60’)

Amsterdam-based collective Wanderwelle, consisting of Alexander Bartels and Phil van Dulm, presents their experimental collage film The Four Nightmares. The film depicts the story of an anonymous man plagued by a series of feverish dreams that foretell the end of time. The great crises of our time follow one another like hallucinatory nightmares with no escape.

The Four Nightmares is influenced by the Bible book The Revelation of John in which the four horsemen of the Apocalypse wreak death and destruction. Despite the unpleasant idea, the prophetic book has many parallels with our modern world. Large-scale disease outbreaks, wars, ecological disasters and false prophets are commonplace nowadays and it seems the four horsemen have already made their entrance on the world stage.

Surreal plot

The source material of The Four Nightmares comes from Eye's collection. Instead of focusing on the physical material, which is common in the found footage genre, Wanderwelle chose to focus strongly on narrative and allegorical references. By cutting up archival footage, re-editing it, manipulating it through digital techniques and adding sound design and music, the artists created a fast-pacing surreal plot of their own. The film's grainy look and bleak imagery emphasize the existential fear of the bedridden protagonist.

Prior to the film, the video installation The Summer of '72 (Fire) will be shown. In a split-screen format, archival footage of classrooms from the 1970s is juxtaposed with forest fire imagery. Slowly but surely, the fire intensifies and the school is bound to be engulfed by flames. Wanderwelle made the piece to complement The Four Nightmares, which narrates a similar message, that of impending doom in the form of natural disasters.

In 1972, the Club of Rome published the highly influential report The Limits to Growth. The study suggested that economic growth could not continue indefinitely due to resource depletion, which eventually could result in catastrophic environmental issues. A modern prophecy that came true half a century later. In this way, the video installation portrays the missed opportunity of how education could have substantially changed the current state of the climate crisis if the youth had been properly schooled at the time.

An interview with Alexander Bartels and Phil van Dulm will take place between the screenings of the installation and the fil

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60 min.

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Part of

Meet the Archive 2023

Eye’s curators and restorers present their latest discoveries during the Meet the Archive day. This edition: find out more about the history of feminist film collective Cinemien, featuring a screening of the restored Cinemien documentary Donna: vrouwen in verzet.

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campaign image Meet the Archive 2023 (still from Donna: vrouwen in verzet (Yvonne Scholten, NL 1980))
still The Summer of ‘72 (Wanderwelle)
still Apocalypse: The Four Nightmares (Wanderwelle)
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